Diving in Kenting (26-28Feb12) 389.JPG
Kenting, Taiwan -- Lateral view of an orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides), resting on sand.
This rather large grouper (nearly 1 m in length) likes turbid coral reefs and estuaries. It can be readily identified by the numerous orangish spots on its head, body and fins.
The individual shown here was not shy at all! While it rested on sandy bottom, it let me get as close as an arm's length to it. I lay down on the sand in front and on the side of it, and started busying myself with camera and flash settings, which didn't seem to disturb it at all. I suspect that other divers in the area fed it before so that it must have gotten used to human interaction.
The whole encounter lasted some 10-15 minutes, in which the grouper and I got really up close and personal. At one time it darted off after another grouper of the same species, but returned to exactly the same spot in front of me seconds later.