#4 Starry Eyed Shark
The Starry Eyed Shark, or "Requin Observe Etoile" as it is called by the VanuaSemians in their island-French dialect, is one of the most incredible animals associated with the reef. They are huge sharks, as large as Great Whites, and are shrouded in mystery and myth. They are most often seen cruising silently alone on the western edge of Liza's Reef where it drops off precipitously into the deep ocean waters.
They have a distinctive fawn brown color as well as graceful white flairs on its dorsal fin which are characteristic of the males (the female's flairs are light brown). However the most striking features are the shining white eyes from which it gets its name.
Interestingly enough, one of the VanuaSemian legends predicts bad luck to anyone who harms a Requin Obsere Etoile, since it is Holo Mana O Hoku, which means "swims with the power of the stars". According to this legend, immense supernatural protective forces are part of its very being and is one of the reasons it has no enemies and is a top of the line predator like the Great White Shark. Unlike the Great White though, which is mercilessly slaughtered by man now almost to the point of extinction, the Starry seems to pack a much more powerful cosmic punch which will almost certainly ensure its survival once that fact becomes common knowledge .These huge sharks, like the Great Whites, seem to be capable of trans-oceanic voyages of great distances -Hawaii is over 3000 miles away from VanuaSemia. They are solitary animals and only rarely are they seen together as pairs.
In my painting I have shown a male Starry approaching one of the coral phenomena which the VanuaSemians refer to as corail interstellaire. These ephemeral formations suddenly appear from time to time in the coral on Liza's Reef and then just as quickly vanish. They always appear to be irregular openings in the coral , "windows" as it were to other places in the universe. This type of celestial phenomena is very common on Liza's Reef, and is what makes this reef so different than any other in the world.
Another interesting little fish that is found on Liza's Reef is the Poissons D'ange Brun De Raie (Brown Striped Angelfish), similar in size and patterning to the orange Flaming Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) that is found in the Society and Hawaiian Islands. It seemed to prefer hiding among the brightly colored Corail de Fleur (Flower Coral) that seemed to be everywhere on Liza's Reef. This coral species characteristically had what appeared to be pod-like structures at its base and delicate blossoms that frequently appeared on the tips of the coral. It is prized by the women on VanuaSemia, and often strands of it are presented to couples as wedding gifts.