Comparison ?? with Mystery bridge fish- the Grass Porgy



The contributor who relayed the incident about the little fish that "hitched" himself to them as they were diving, staying near to their chins and under them as they moved around (like he was hitchhiking) reminded me of another fish that I haven't been able to identify. This little fish does exacly the same thing as the woman described. I've picked one up a couple times. They swim along right in front of my mask most of the time. One little guy swam for a quarter mile as I was coming back from a snorkel out to one of the points. His tail was a-goin' a million miles an hour to stay in front of me. Once in a while he'd dash off to go pick up a tasty morsel of food as it floated by then dash right back.  He stayed with me right until I walked out of the water. He was so darn cute!

Here is a still shot from a piece of video I took on a different day of the same kind of fish. The one with me looked like the smaller ones toward the rear with rectangle spots of a mottled olive green and white color.

They sort of look like Grass Porgy's or Yellowfin Majorra's, but the mottled and striping doesn't fit. (Unless this is the juvenile stage) but they certainly didn't act like the adult Mojorra's I've encountered.

I'd really be grateful to find out what they are.

Yellow Jack

They are juvenile Yellow Jacks and often follow snorkelers around.


Reply and Thanks

Just a snorkeler, islandbarb

Thanks for the information. Louis, When I first saw the Grass Porgy in the new edition of the Reef set I thought, "Oh. maybe that's it", but then had to dismissed the fish as being Grass Porgy because according to the Reef Set, they aren't found here in the USVI.  So Thanks again.

Yellow Jacks and not Grass Porgys?

Hey, islandbarb, the fish in your pictures had the same markings as the one that followed us around LBTS.  I hadn't seen any photos of the mottled markings, and I assumed that it was a juvenile variation of the Grass Porgy. I'm thrilled that you got video of the fish! Thanks for posting the stillshot.

Louis, I didn't even consider it being a Yellow Jack 'cause I have only the Reef Fish ID 3rd ed, printed, and don't have the expanded CD/DVD set. Does the latter have photos of the juvie Yellow Jack? Or do you recognize him from your own underwater experiences?  Either way, thanks for setting me straight on the ID.

I'm off to the beach, in my role as car-key-holder/photographer for the Duval Ocean Swimmers, who swim a mile along Jax Beach on Sunday mornings. Have a great day, everyone.


Yellow Jack Photos

Candice: I was going to suggest that perhaps you had been seeing juvenile Yellow Jacks because it sounded like the behavior we see from Yellow Jacks and they do look pretty similar to juvenile Grass Porgy. In fact, before I enlarged "fish_id's" photo I thought it was a Yellow Jack. I have a couple photos of the juveniles on FishBase:

FishBase photos of Yellow Jack juvie

Louis, great shots on FishBase! I'm really pleased to know the identity of our friend.

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