Part of the Great Barrier Reef of the Caribbean, the coral colonies located near the islands of Roatan and Utila, under the administration of Honduras, offer a lot of study material to marine biologists, professionals and amateurs alike.
Magnificent Coral Colonies
What makes this reef remarkable is that it is one of the few places where the black coral, a very rare variety, can be spotted. Sea rods, sea fans and gorgonians of big dimensions are the main representatives of soft corals in the region. Hard corals, also known as stony corals, can also be found here, the colonies taking marvelous shapes. Fire corals and star corals are the most spectacular of them. Several varieties of sponges, including the barrel sponge, a master of disguise that can mimic a lot of shapes, complete the marine landscape.
The Amazing Biodiversity
The reef is populated by an impressive number of fish species, tarpons, snappers, groupers, mackerels, trumpet fish, blue tangs or angelfish being just some of them. The large banks and schools attract predators like barracudas and nurse shark that find good living conditions here. A lot of shrimp varieties, such as the anemone shrimp or the coral banded shrimp, hide under the rocks on the bottom of the reef or in the crevices. Crustaceans are also well represented, the coral colonies surrounding the Honduras islands being the habitat of the neck crab and several lobster species.