There’s Only One Emperor in Hawai’i

There’s only room for one “royal” fish in Hawaiian waters, the Bigeye Emperor.  There are many others around the world but the Bigeye Emperor is the only one of its kind in Hawai’i.  The Hawaiian word for Bigeye Emperor is mu.  They are closely related to breams, snapper-like fishes.

The mu has large, human-like, molariform teeth that it uses to eat gastropods and crabs.  This fish is also a popular food dish, which is it often seems skittish around humans.  They can grow up to two feet in length and weigh up to 13 pounds!  Another interesting fact about this fish is a perceivable color variation reflecting its disposition.  Sometimes it appears silver with three black saddle-like patches on its back, and may or may not have yellow fins and a yellow forehead.  Other times it’s silver with red around the rims of its fins or with no red at all.  The one thing to remember is that they are all the same fish; there is only one emperor!  🙂

Bigeye Emperor in the outer reef at the MLCD

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