SCUBA News 168,

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 168 - May 2014
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- What's new at SCUBA Travel?
- Letters
- Creature of the Month: Freckled Hawkfish, Paracirrhites forsteri
- Diving News from Around the World

For Backpacking Travel Insurance with diving to 50 m, go to World Nomads, the adventure travel specialists

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Diving Cyprus - The Zenobia

Diving Cyprus

Cyprus boasts one of the best dives in Europe: the Zenobia. Read new reviews of the Zenobia and other dive sites at.

Shark at Jardines de la Reina

Diving Cuba

The largest island in the Caribbean has 5646 km of coastline. Some of the best diving is at the Jardines de la Reina archipelago. Read about it at

Diving St Kilda

Underwater Photos of St Kilda

The diving around St Kilda, in Scotland, is beautiful with great visibility. New photo gallery of the waters around St Kilda is at

Creature of the Month: Freckled Hawkfish, Paracirrhites forsteri

Why does this fish spend its time sitting on coral, resting on its pectoral fins? Like other hawkfishes it is lying in wait for its prey - small fishes and sometimes shrimps. These they ambush in a surprising burst of speed, which gives rise to their "hawkfish" name.

Another reason for their perching like a bird-of-prey is the lack of a swim bladder, which means they sink if they stop swimming.

Speckled hawkfish

The freckled hawkfish lives throughout the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to Hawaii, Japan, South Africa and Australia. Divers often see them as they are easily approached and live between 1 and 40 m. They grow to 22 cm long.

Speckled hawkfish in ambush

All freckled hawkfish begin life as female. The largest female becomes the male. Although seen solitarily on coral heads, they actually live in small groups of one male with one or more females.

Speckled hawkfish always has red freckles

The hawkfish change colour as they get older. Adults may be pink, brown or muted green with lighter streaks down the side. Some are burgundy with a yellow tail. In all cases the red freckles remain the same. The juvenile fish tend to be white underneath and redish-brown above.

Juvenile Speckled Hawkfish
Juvenile Freckled Hawkfish

Class: Actinopterygii > Order: Perciformes > Family: Cirrhitidae

Have you any photos of the freckled hawkfish you'd like to share? Send them to us and we'll add them to our gallery.

Further Reading:
Coral Reef Guide Red Sea, Lieske and Myers
Hawkfish photos by Tim Nicholson

Diving News From Around the World

For breaking news see our Twitter page or RSS feed

Counting sharks

Shark-counting divers become citizen scientists

Divers monitor reef shark numbers as accurately, and cheaper, than automated tracking tools, a study suggests. Shark populations are thought to be declining globally, but for 67% of shark species the population trend is unknown. Shark-counting divers can gather information and thus help marine conservation.

Scuba tanks may be thing of the past

Project to replace diving tanks with "solid air" wins prize.

Japanese whaling ships start their annual spring hunt

A fleet of whaling ships has left Japan to hunt for whales along the country's northern coast. It is the first hunt for Minke whales since the International Court of Justice ordered Japan to suspend similar activities in the Antarctic.

coral reef

Coral reefs provide potent new anti-HIV proteins

Researchers have discovered a new class of proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T-cells. The proteins have been found in a coral from Australia's northern coast.

Laser solution prevents seabird bycatch

Laser device creates bird free zones near fishing vessels.

Ocean acidity is dissolving shells of tiny snails

Researchers have found the first evidence that acidity of continental shelf waters is dissolving the shells of tiny free-swimming marine snails, called pteropods, which provide food for pink salmon, mackerel and herring

Deep sea life booms in hot climates

Deep-sea ecosystems are sensitive to global temperature variations on shorter timescales than previously thought.

Sailfish is lethal d'Artagnan of the deep

The Atlantic sailfish's hunting strategy involves using its sword-like bill to slash its sardine prey so fast the "blade" becomes invisible to the eye

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PUBLISHER: SCUBA Travel, 5 Loxford Court, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6AF, UK
EDITED by Jill Studholme

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