Here is another macro critter that likes to pretend to be sand, hint, it is not sand, it is a fish. Some Dragonet’s enjoy being crazy colorful, some enjoy being very small, some just enjoy having patterns that make them blend into the sandy muck bottoms of Kata Beach.
These Spotted Dragonet’s are fairly common at Kata Beach out around the 10 – 12 meter depth mark. The bottom composition changes from thin extremely fine white sand to a darker more granular sand, which you can see in the bottom of the shot.
If you find this type of sand you will also likely find these Dragonets, here are a few things I’ve noticed about them.
1. They come in all sizes, the one in the photo is about 8cm long, it was the largest one I saw on the day and as such seemed to be the least worried about me and my camera. They also come in super small sizes no more than 1cm in length, the little guys tend to be very skittish though.
2. Don’t take your eye’s off them once spotted. They not only have skin patterns resembling the sand (see photo), they move in jumpy motions and they like doing it when you look away. That makes them extremely difficult to relocate quickly to show your customers or dive buddies.
3. Each time I’ve found them, there has been a small group in the general vicinity. Usually there will be 3 or 4 congregated in a small shared area, if you spot one, look around as you and your dive buddies can potentially have one each for photos.
Also loving this fishes pattern which gives it a seemingly toothy under-bite, that probably isn’t a common trait, just a bit of dumb luck with this subject.