Sand Diver

Key West snorkeling is one of the top reasons thousands of tourists and marine enthusiasts flock to Florida annually. Among the unique species snorkelers have the opportunity to see on a dive is the Sand Diver (Synodus intermedius).

The Sand Diver grows up to 46 centimeters in length, and is usually found on the sandy bottoms of reefs, where it can blend in with its surroundings. The fish can also be found resting itself on the tops of rocky reefs. However, because it has a tendency to bury itself in sand or maneuver itself in rock crevices, it can be exceedingly difficult for the novice to spot. The species is rarely, if ever, spotted near the shore.

The fish’s body has an elongated appearance, with a brown and white coloration on its top and sides. The sand diver has a white belly. The fish has 8 brownish bars wrapping around its body, which are especially noticeable if you catch a glimpse of the fish from a side angle.

The sand diver’s fins have a sort of fan-like appearance and have shades of brown, white, and copper in them. The fish feeds on small fish as well as small crustaceans, like crab and shrimp. It will usually approach these animals in a traditional predatory manner, but will occasionally snag a meal by burying itself in sand and surprising its unsuspecting pretty that way.