Many reef residents prefer a shady crevice where they can observe without being noticed.
Sometimes you have to share a crevice, and a whole community of cave dwellers may develop in a choice hole.
Octopods suffer a constant struggle between shyness and curiosity. They love to watch us when they think we don’t notice.
At first they put a bit of sand color on their “alcove red” and spy from every opening.
With a little room and a 20 minute acquaintance the shyness abates and the octopus crawls up to the mezzanine level to meet a fellow sentient.
Other troglodytes make their cover wherever the sand accumulates…
and stay hidden until it’s time to come out and fight (or flee).
When security and house cleaning become too much for one sand dweller there is always the option to get a roommate. This goby/shrimp arrangement works well. The shrimp goby watches for trouble while the goby shrimp shovels armfuls of sand out of the pad.
We’re not sure who does the digging when everybody seems to be loafin’ on the front porch.
Trigger fish just need a thin crack where they can squeeze in and extend their trigger spines for maximum wedging action.
They make nervous circles at the front door until the intruder has gone.
The smallest residents fit in the smallest holes.
Sometimes just a comforting overhang is adequate.
This huge babyfaced porcupinefish had a great dark cave with a clean sandy floor all to itself.