Ryan Photographic - Haemulidae - Grunts & Sweetlips


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Chordates
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Family Haemulidae

There are around 150 species of grunts distributed amongst 15 genera. They get their common name of grunt from noises they make while grinding food with their pharyngeal teeth, a sound that is amplified by their swimbladder. Most grunts are nocturnal, often associating in large, mixed species schools during the day and dispersing at night to feed. They mostly feed on benthic invertebrates with crustaceans being a major food source. Some haemulids are referred to as sweetlips - a reference to the thick rubbery lips that characterise this group. Many species undergo an extraordinary metamorphosis between the juvenile and adult. The differences are so startling that it is hard to believe they are the same species.

Diving with sweetlips can be a spectacular experience. In the Raja Ampat islands large aggregations of sweetlips occur around coral heads and they permit close approach. On occasion I have been within inches of a crowd of curious sweetlips, all staring intently at me. This remains one of my most rewarding dive experiences.

 

Anisostremus interruptus Burrito grunt

Anisostremus interruptus Burrito grunt Sea of Cortez

FISH 6342 Anisostremus interruptus Burrito grunt Sea of Cortez.

Diagramma pictum Silver sweetlips

Diagramma pictum Silver sweetlips juvenile, Lembeh Straits

FISH 6189 Diagramma pictum Silver sweetlips juvenile, Lembeh Straits.

Haemulon flavolineatum French grunt

Haemulon flavolineatum French grunt, Glover's Reef, Belize
Haemulon flavolineatum French grunt school, Glover's Reef, Belize
Haemulon flavolineatum French grunt 2, Glover's Reef, Belize

Haemulon juveniles

Juvenile Haemulon, Glover's Reef, Belize

Haemulon plumieri White grunt

white grunt Haemulon plumieri

FISH 3195 Haemulon plumieri, White grunt, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Haemulon sexfasciatum Graybar grunt

Haemulon sexfasciatum Graybar grunt, Loreto, Mexico

FISH 5059 Haemulon sexfasciatum Graybar grunt, Loreto, Mexico

Haemulon sexfasciatum Graybar grunt, Loreto, Baja

FISH 5058 Haemulon sexfasciatum Graybar grunt, Loreto, Mexico

Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips

Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips, Matamanoa, Fiji
Plecorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 5831 Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Plecorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 5867 Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides Many-spotted sweetlips juvenile Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus Gold-spotted sweetlips

Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus Gold-spotted sweetlips Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7306 Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus Gold-spotted sweetlips Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus Gold-spotted sweetlips Puerto Galera, Philippines

FISH 7307 Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus Gold-spotted sweetlips Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Plectorhinchus lineatus Diagonal-banded sweetlips

diagonal-banded sweetlips

FISH 3295 Plectorhinchus lineatus Diagonal-banded sweetlips and Plectorhincus multivittatum Many-lined sweetlips, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Plectorhinchus multivittatum Many-lined sweetlips

may-lined sweetlips

FISH 3292 Plectorhinchus lineatus Diagonal-banded sweetlips (top) and Plectorhincus multivittatum Many-lined sweetlips (below), Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Plectorhinchus picus Dotted sweetlips

Plectorhinchus picus Dotted sweetlip with schooling bannerfish in foreground, waiting at cleaning station. Matamanoa, Fiji.

Plectorhinchus polytaenia Ribbon sweetlips

Ribbon sweetlips being cleaned by cleaner wrasse

FISH 0098 Plectorhinchus polytaenia, Ribbon sweetlips being cleaned by Labroides dimidiatus, Kri, Raja Ampat.

Ribbon sweetlips school

FISH 1193 Plectorhinchus polytaenia, Ribbon sweetlips school, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Ribbon sweetlips

FISH 0092 Plectorhinchus polytaenia, Ribbon sweetlips, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Plectorhinchus vittatus Oriental sweetlips

FISH 8700 Plectorhinchus vittatus Oriental sweetlips, Matamanoa, Fiji.
FISH 8703 Plectorhinchus vittatus Oriental sweetlips 2, Matamanoa, Fiji.

 

 

 

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