Mesmerizing Schools of Convict Tangs

da9de17a7ff3668fe9cf46949715af7fOne of my favorite places in the entirety of the Hawaiian Islands is the Kapoho Tide Pools.  Lava flows from Kilauea often reach the ocean.  Rapid cooling of the lava can form domes.  When these domes collapse in the intertidal they become a series of tidal pools hosting a myriad of ocean life.  Snorkeling here is nothing short of amazing.

During my last visit here I managed to capture a school of convict tangs. Acanthurus triostegus was one of the species described by Linnaeus himself way back in 1758. A_film_about_Carl_Linnaeus_Natural_History_Museum

Convict tangs are abundant fish throughout the Indo-Pacific. Adults occur in seaward reefs with the young occuring in tide pools. They feed on algae that grow on rocks.


Occasionally, and spectacularly, they form schools. The gold in combination with the black stripes making the schooling all the more dizzying.

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Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.