A Few More Photos From Izu

Before I head out on my next trip, here are a few more photos from Izu.

The first is an adorable juvenile yellow hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys aureus), which is known as an oki-gonbe (オキゴンベ) in Japanese. There are, of course, lots of hawkfish in tropical waters, but this hawkfish is the most striking variety I've come across, ranging from a nice tangerine colour to a deep orange hue sometimes.

They're not particularly shy. The big ones can be fairly inquisitive, swimming right up to check you out on occasion.

yellow hawkfish

But of course, not everything I saw was necessarily cute...at least not in the traditional squishy mushy sense.

This fish, for instance, is a yellowfin scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis neglecta), its common name referring to yellow patches on the underside of the fish's pectoral fins.

Known as satsuma-kasago (サツマカサゴ) in Japanese, these fish resemble the scorpionfish I'm accustomed to seeing in tropical waters.

In fact, this one reminded me somewhat of the white devil scorpionfish I recently photographed in Lembeh, which I initially mis-identified as a stonefish. Thankfully Cheryl was ever-alert and pointed out my stupidity!

From what I gather, satsuma-kasago spotted in Izu are not usually white in colour, so this one is a bit unusual.


And finally, here's a photo for my young friend Alexa, who has told me she likes seeing photos of frogfish.

This is a spotfin frogfish (Antennarius nummifer) or beni-izari-uo (ベニイザリウオ) in Japanese. I've only ever seen this species in Japan, though they have a much wider distribution.

This particular one was plastered against the underside of a rock formation, flush against the rock and coral so that it was virtually impossible to distinguish from the background.

The only reason I saw it was that I spent a long time near it while photographing another fish. The only reason you can see it in this picture is because of the lighting I used to bring out the outline of the fish. Amazing camouflage artists these fish are.


Speaking of frogfish, I can't resist adding a couple more photos for Alexa. These are extremely rare frogfish. In fact, they're yet to be properly classified.

For the time being, I'm calling this one the fuzzy tank frogfish:


And this one the stumpy desktop frogfish: