Reef Scorpionfish

Nestled in a crevice we found this timid looking reef scorpionfish. You will notice the black spines of a long-spine urchin hanging over the scorpionfish. These long barbed spines are needle-sharp, just the right protection for a skittish little fish that needs to get some rest.

We tried several times to get a better shot but the reef scorpionfish kept moving around and every time my flash went off he moved to a different spot. You can’t see it but the wall was covered with long-spined urchins and every time I moved in closer the spines would rotate and point toward my hands making for a very unpleasant experience on several occasions.

I have rarely seen a reef scorpionfish that was not using a long-spine urchin for protection. I believe this may be a symbiotic relationship called facultative commensalism, which means that the scorpionfish gets a safe place to rest (smart little bugger) but the long-spine sea urchin receives no benefit from the relationship.

I really like the color and texture of this sponge. Notice the reef scorpionfish in the background.

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