Kevin Stewart PADI Instructor #188980
Of course there are tons of different fishes to see when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii i and sharks and some marine mammals but there are also tons of other smaller critters and actually some not so small critters that you might miss if you are not paying attention. One of these critters are crustaceans and one of my favorite crustaceans are crabs.
It is interesting all the different ways they have to survive like one of my favorite crabs the sponge crab. They use two of their back legs to hang on to a sponge that they pick and carry around on their backs. If you see them walking around it is hilarious because this big sponge is walking around with eyes but once they find a place to settle down amongst other sponges they are almost impossible to spot. I bet if you go scuba diving the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona you will swim by some and never know you did that is why it is good to have an experienced guide from Kona Honu Divers with you when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona because they will have the eye to recognize these tricky crabs amongst the other sponges. A lot of times they will be on the walls of arches or lava tubes which are usually covered with lots of different types of sponges and luckily when you go scuba diving the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona there are lots of underwater structures like swim throughs and lava tubes to house these funny crabs. Other crabs are found more often in “pukas” or holes in the lava formations. They hide inside and the best way to find them is to use a flashlight and look into the small holes that you find. Be aware you may have to look way in the back of these “pukas” so be patient. One of the crabs that I find in these holes most frequently when I scuba dive the Big Island of Hawai is the Seven Eleven Crab which gets its name from the large red dots on its carapace that kind of remind you of dice. These guys are very beautiful but do stand out some because of those large red dots so they hide in holes for protection more than relying on the camouflage like the Sponge Crab. And then there is one of the tiny crabs that is one of the funniest little caraters in the ocean. When you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona you can find them hiding under rocks so, again, it helps to have a knowledgeable guide from Kona Honu Divers guide you when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii because they are able to find these little critters under the correct kind of rubber. I am talking about the Boxer Crab or in some places they are called Pom Pom Crabs although the one found when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona is an endemic species to Hawaii. The Boxer crab or Pom Pom Crab is a small crab that would fit in your hand and in their two front hands or actually they are legs they grasp a tiny white anemone so that it looks like they have boxing gloves or some think pom poms in their hands and when they think they are threatened they will strike out with those front legs and shake those pom poms. They do think they are very fierce and it is a good thing they are very small. Another crustacean that is common to see when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona are the shrimp.
There are many different types of shrimp to see when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii just like with the crabs and they are found in many of the same places like on the walls of arches and lava tubes and in those pukas. One very beautiful shrimp, which is also one of the larger shrimp is the ghost shrimp and they are found way back in the darkest corners of those pukas. They are all white and probably bigger than your hand and do have that ghostly appearance although they are beautiful in their own way. Another shrimp that is quite common to see when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona is the banded shrimp. This is the shrimp that has the red and white bands on its legs that makes them look a lot like little candy canes. these guys are also often times called cleaner shrimp because you will frequently see them cleaning fish and even more often eels. They will go right into the mouth of the eel and pick around getting a good meal and also helping out the eel. This type of behavior you will see a lot of times during the day even though most of these crustaceans are nocturnal and you wouldn’t see them actually walking about until night time when that get out and feed so it is much easier to see many of them at night. If you go scuba diving on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona I would highly recommend doing the night reef dive with Kona Honu Divers and you will see many of these interesting creatures more easily than you do when you scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii during the day and have to search through rubble and crevices to find them. Either way it is well worth is to observe these interesting critters. So when you come to visit the Big Island of Hawaii and you sign up to scuba dive the Big Island of Hawaii go to Kona Honu Divers and they will set you up with a great two tank morning charter or a nice night reef dive to see these critters of the deep.