Snorkeling with Honolua's Bigfin Squid
If you're snorkeling the waters of Honolua Bay in Maui, keep an eye out for schools of Bigfin Squid. You'll sometimes find them in the shallows here, and seeing them just a few feet from your mask is a moment you won't forget.
Squid are intriguing to watch, you might call them natural entertainers. They'll typically hover as a group in front of you, leisurely changing color and shape in unison. They can put on a show for 10 minutes or more—seemingly as curious about you, as you are about them. Then in a flash, they'll disappear and you're left wondering where they could have gone in that "blink of an eye!"
Squid are covered in specialized pigment cells which allow them to change color and create patterns on their skin. At times they can even appear iridescent or glow. Squid change colors for a variety of reasons. They can camouflage themselves from predators and prey, or use color as a means of communication. They are known to use complex courting displays to attract mates. Amazingly, male squid can display courtship patterns on one side of their body, while producing aggressive patterns on the other to discourage the competition!
Squid and octopus are both members of the cephalapod class and share similarities as well as differences. Both can swim incredibly fast, squirt ink, and change color. Both creatures have eight legs, but squid have two additional tentacles they use to grab and eat prey. Octopus tend to live solitary lives and can be found in dens along the sea floor, while many squid live in groups and are found in the open ocean. So next time you're snorkeling at Honolua Bay in Maui, look for the resident Bigfin Squid, they're sure to entertain you.
For more about squid and other underwater creatures in Maui, check back often or pick up a copy of Mask, Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling!