Here is the 2nd part of our Guide to the Marine life of Phi Phi Island
If you missed part 1 please Click Here
To most Scuba Divers the Whale Shark is considered to be “The Holy Grail” of underwater encounters. The Whale Shark is the world’s largest fish and can reach up to 14 meters in length, despite it’s huge size it is considered harmless to human’s as it is a filter feeder living on a diet of plankton. The Whale Shark date’s back over 60 million years. It is regarded as a pelagic fish species that follows migratory patterns covering thousand’s of miles. Whale sharks are no strangers to Phi Phi Island and can be spotted year round, but the best time is April & May when they can be seen daily with sometimes 4 or 5 different sharks been spotted the same day.
The Lionfish family consists of 10 sub species and is probably best recognised as a home aquarium favourite. The Lionfish is native to the Indo Pacific region but has spread to other area’s such as the Caribbean where it has become a problem to the native fish life with it’s huge appetite. Found on almost every Dive in the Phi Phi Island’s this member of the Scorpion fish family need’s to be treated with the utmost respect and Divers would be wise to keep a safe distance from it’s toxin loaded spines. The lionfish is often regarded as one of the reef’s most beautiful species and Divers with good buoyancy skills can get up close for stunning photograph’s.
Link to Wikipedia page on Lionfish
Yellow Boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)
The Yellow Boxfish is another Scuba Divers favourite, found on coral reefs throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. When juvenile, it is bright yellow in colour. As it ages, the brightness fades and very old specimens will have blue-grey colouration with faded yellow. A very popular fish with underwater photographers due to its bright colouring and small size, but always appears to move or turn just in time to spoil that perfect shot. Found on most of the Dive sites around Phi Phi Island but due to its size and ablity to hide in the reef it can easily be missed by Diver’s looking for the big fish.
Link to Wikipedia page on Yellow Boxfish
Manta Ray (Manta Birostris)
The Manta Ray is the largest of the Eagle Ray family and its wingspan can reach a massive 7 meters. Without doubt Diving with Manta Ray’s is one of the most amazing experiences a Scuba Diver can have. At times they can appear playful and perform a series of stunts right in front of Diver’s leaving you speechless. Manta Rays can be seen at Phi Phi Islands best dive site Hin Daeng and Hin Muang which is an open ocean site with spectacular drop offs to over 70 meters. The Manta’s visit this reef as a cleaning station and can quite often be seen almost completely still hovering above the reef whilst small fish and reef creatures perform a cleaning service for them. Like the giant Whale Shark they are a filter feeder only feeding on plankton.
Link to Wikipedia page on Manta Rays
For more information on Scuba Diving in Phi Phi Island visit http://www.princessdivers.com/