Marine Life in El Nido – Sweetlip – This lovely fish is the favorite of many divers because of its beautiful coloration and strange swimming behavior. The young sweetlip will start moving more erratically when it is approached by a potential threat. They say that the juvenile many-spotted sweetlip may mimic poisonous flatworms. This makes them a less attractive target to predators.
When they become an adult their body color will change to white with black dots. They not only change in color but also in size. Their transformation is radical! Sweetlips are often seen in aquarium stores. The juveniles are probably one of the most attractive fish in the Baquit Bay. Aquarists do not realize that this species gets big. They can attain a maximum length of 70 cm !
Juveniles are solitary fish. Adults are usualy found solitary or in groups. They hover over the reef during the day or look for refuge under table corals, coral ledges and caves. They often share their daytime shelter with other species of sweetlips and visit wrasse cleaning stations. At nightfall they venture from their hiding place to look for invertebrate pray such as crab, shrimp and worms. You can encounter them during a Night Dive or a Sunrise dive. The juveniles are very popular amongst photographers.