I know the name sounds like a terrible attempt at describing the cool little fish you are looking at but sadly “Orange & Black Dragonette” is this guys official name. Kinda lame if you ask me, look at him, he definitely deserves a cooler name, what about calling it a “War Paint” or “Spicy Lips” Dragonette?
Feel free to come up with some better ones, I was in a rush. Back on topic, I found this guy hanging in the sand on one of the beach dives we do here, I try to do this dive quite often because it’s great for macro if you have some patience and a good eye. It’s mostly sand, but the moment you find a can, rock or anemone, I can guarantee you there is some life attached to it.
This juvenile Orange & Black Dragonette was near a small piece of drift wood and I do mean small, if you look carefully at the photo you can see the fine sand grains for a size comparison. The Dragonette can be notoriously difficult to photograph because they flit about, it’s like they almost jump from place to place as they move. This is obviously how they hunt, quick strikes on unsuspecting critters that come a little too close to these voracious carnivores.
I basically had to plant my rig in the sand and hope that he would eventually hop in front of my camera at the right focal distance and stay still long enough for my compact to focus and pull the trigger. There was a lot of failed attempts and re-adjusting position, but in the end, perseverance paid off and I managed one or two decent little snaps of the bastard.