Coney grouper and eel

Coney grouper and eel

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coney grouper (Cephalopholis fulvus) following a sharptail eel (Myrichthys breviceps) as it rootles amongst sand and rocks for food. The grouper will take any small food item unearthed by the eel. These fish are found in shallow tropical waters in the western Atlantic. The eel feeds mainly on crabs, and can reach a length of over a metre. The coney is known to follow eels while they hunt, but also hunts smaller fish and crabs by itself. It can reach a length of around 40 centimetres. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite. This means that all the fish start life female, but turn male as they grow. In the case of the coney, females become mature at around 16cm and turn male at 20cm. Photographed off Bonaire Islands in the Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, bonaire, caribbean sea, cephalopholis fulvus, co-operation, coney, coral rubble, duo, eel, fauna, fish, following, grouper, hunting, marine, marine biology, myrichthys breviceps, nature, netherlands antilles, opportunism, pair, rootling, sandy, seabed, sharptail eel, tropical, two, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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