Pygmy Pals

Continuing with the cute motif that seems to be running through my Izu photos, here is a pair of whitespotted pygmy filefish (Rudarius ercodes), referred to locally as amime-hagi (アミメハギ).

pygmy filefish

When you see these fish in situ, they don't look like much. Actually, they blend in with the seaweed and can be difficult to pick out from the background visual clutter.

Only after following one around for a few minutes did I notice the other one...not that it was hiding or anything...just that it was so well camouflaged I simply didn't see it (though it was sitting in plain sight).

I watched as the two fish came together, flitted around one another, swam apart, came together again...and so on, their motion dictated in large part by the prevailing back-and-forth of the swell.

These filefish have signature pouty lips similar to the Japanese inflator filefish, but their lips aren't quite the same shade of hot pink...more of a mature mauve maybe.

I noticed that as the swell peaked and reversed direction, the fish sometimes lined up nicely in the current, like a couple of weather vanes spun around by a shifting wind...producing a perfect pose for a piscine portrait.