The Odd Couple

We found a stingray in the shallow water escorted by a trevally that resulted in a photo that strikes my fancy. The rays always seem to have a fish accompanying them; in this case another trevally tried to join in, but the first fish aggressively drove it away. Back in the states I googled the behavior and came up with the term 'commensalism', in which one species benefits by hanging out with another. In this case the fish snags up the scraps of food stirred up by the stingray as it feeds along the sandy bottom.

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Culebra Island in Puerto Rico offered a snorkeling beach a short hike from our anchorage. Mike and I loaded ourselves down with assorted beach-going paraphernalia, masks and fins, and I refused to go without my heavy underwater camera – just in case. It was almost a disappointment on the heels of some spectacular scuba diving. The scenery was very average, water cloudy and the outcroppings of coral dull under a coating of sand. But in the end my decision to lug the camera along paid off. We found a stingray in the shallow water escorted by a trevally that resulted in a photo that strikes my fancy. The rays always seem to have a fish accompanying them; in this case another trevally tried to join in, but the first fish aggressively drove it away. Back in the states I googled the behavior and came up with the term ‘commensalism’, in which one species benefits by hanging out with another. In this case the fish snags up the scraps of food stirred up by the stingray as it feeds along the sandy bottom.

Sony a7rII, Nauticam Underwater Housing, 1/350 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100, 28mm (FE 28mm F2)

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We found a stingray in the shallow water escorted by a trevally that resulted in a photo that strikes my fancy. The rays always seem to have a fish accompanying them; in this case another trevally tried to join in, but the first fish aggressively drove it away. Back in the states I googled the behavior and came up with the term 'commensalism', in which one species benefits by hanging out with another. In this case the fish snags up the scraps of food stirred up by the stingray as it feeds along the sandy bottom.

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