Spotted Eagle Rays at Creole Rock

On January 10th, we again commandeered the dingy to explore the Creole Rock area. Heading northeast, we rounded the shallows where we saw more than a dozen spiny lobsters clustered in a crevice in an undersea wall. From there we went into the channel between Creole Rock and Bell Point, but found it mostly just sea grass beds. Curving around to the back side of the rock, we found a southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) and I briefly saw a spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari in the distance.

As we returned around the rock, four more spotted eagle rays swam by together, and while Madam J swam after them shooting video, I was able to get a few photos of the fifth member of the group, which was following slightly behind. There were several isopods clinging to the right side of his face.

During the dive we also saw an initial phase redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) being cleaned by some pederson cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes pedersoni), a fairy basslet (Gramma loreto) swimming upside down in a small cave, a pair of graysby (Cephalopholis cruentatus) in another cave and what seemed to be some very small bulb tunicates (Clavelina spp.) clinging to sea grass, which I had first mistaken for fish eggs.

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