For the diver the littoral fringe, mainly on the coast is, offers the greatest diversity of environments and wildlife in a few metres of water. The cayes are of genuine fairy gardens where we never get tired to admire the profusion of the corals and coral. Their calcareous skeletons slowly shaped over the years by the tiny polyps they serve as shelter and supporters, expertly intertwine to form living bouquets whose diversity of forms and colours are a continuous wonder for the eyes. Delicate clumps of fire coral that inflict that picked stinging Burns, mingle white rounded structures shaped brains to the finely crafted convolutions, nests of bees and fragile legged lace limestone or thin tubules starred nimbuses of Fungi and the majestic acroporas that extend in the vicinity of the reef of impenetrable forests to the powerful antlers to looks like a wood deer or elephant ears.
Among the corals, flexible gorgonians spread out their fine branches, fans or chandeliers of color who wave at the option of the currents. Countless encrusting organisms clinging to the smallest asperities, covering the rocks, dead coral or even live Palm: white cuticle or dew of the calcareous algae from the appearance of sugar candi (Lithothamniees) red or yellow, velvety sponges in tubers, plates or in the form of fingers.
Of the annelid worms living in calcareous tubes spread from place to place their gills plumes recanting to the slightest shaking and sea anemones provide the viewer of the undulating wreaths in all shades of green and purple.
Echinoderms are numerous on the reef, starfish and brittle stars with agile arms are abundant as well as huge "sea cucumbers" (holoturies), which move slowly on the sand in the vicinity of les cayes and between mattes of corals. ««Chadrons» (white urchins of the genus Tripneustes) are the subject of an active harvest to be consumed by blaff "or for the preparation of the famous roasted chadrons presented to lovers of seafood along the pla? GHG in the form of a sea urchin test filled eggs of several others, grilled over a wood fire. More formidable are black urchins of the genus Diadema bearing very long Quills sharp constantly in motion. The diver careless or reckless, they leave a burning memory several days during. Other types of sea urchins to less classical morphology occur also in large numbers in the West Indies. Some, like "sea urchins pencils", (Cidarides) are only a few huge dull Quills articulated on large tubers, others covered with countless small spicules in Velvet are burrowers as the past and the Scutes to the body oval or heart-shaped including platelets draw a flower with five petals. Others still are flattened at the point of measuring only a few millimeters thick as the "sand dollars" (Melitta) perforated test of five slots.
In addition to the fish to be more amply treated further, crustaceans are among the principal inhabitants of reefs including the crevices are safe shelters against predators. Marine crabs family account in the West Indies for very many species which we will quote only the ' tou' cakes ' (Carpilius corallinus) aspect quite comparable to Europeans and the «cyriques» cake Creole cyricus refers in general all representatives of the family of the portunides, very agile, with long claws and including the army shell of strong thorns makes delicate capture for neophytes. According to the genres, which are many (Callinectes, Portunus, Aranaeus etc.) the cyriques are more or less colorful, striped or "tiquetes" (spotted).
But the most famous shellfish from the Caribbean waters are undoubtedly the lobsters. There are five different species that are globally named wrongly "lobsters" in creole patois. It speaks of "white lobster" (Panulirus argus) of 'lobster Jess' (P. guttatus) or "Indian lobster" (P. laevicauda). Curiously a small bright orange lobster (Palinurellus gundlachi) only species whose morphology is sufficiently distant from that of the typical lobsters is designated in Martinique under the name of "true lobster of metropolis. White lobster and lobster Bhat (still called "Brazilian") are the most abundant; the first has a preference for areas of eelgrass beds surrounding reefs while the second lived on shallow Rocky or coral? links where it is sometimes abundant in some meters of water. In some coastal areas the lesser crevices serves as a cache to one or more lobsters which