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TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes),
Order Perciformes (Perch-likes),
Family Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)
Subfamily: Serraninae

Genus/species: Serranus tortugarum

GENERAL  CHARACTERISTICS: Light purple with bright blue to orange saddle bands along its back. Different specimens of this species can look very different from each other. The body has an orange to maroon base color. The top of the fish is darker than the bottom half.

Max. length: 8 cm (3 in)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found throughout the Caribbean sea over rubble, silty, or sandy bottoms. Often congregate in small groups hovering over a patch of coral rubble or an old conch shell. Will often hide in the substrate.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on zooplankton.

REPRODUCTION:The Chalk Bass like other members of the genus Serranus, is a synchronous (simultaneous) hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The mated pair takes turns in which one acts as the male and the other the female through multiple matings, usually over the course of several nights. The fish do not self-fertilize.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr   http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625866509117/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-v2

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Serranus-tortugarum.html

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/16759567/0

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Pomacanthidae (Angelfishes)

Genus/species: Holacanthus tricolor

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Like their close relatives the butterflyfishes, they have a deep, laterally compressed body, a single and a unnotched dorsal fin. The most observable difference between the two families is the long spine at the corner of the preopercle common to angelfishes.

H. tricolor has a yellow anterior body with the remaining parts of body black. The caudal fin is entirely yellow.
Maximum length of approximately 12 inches (35 cm)

IMG_7406

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Atlantic: Georgia (USA), Bermuda, and northern Gulf of Mexico to Santa Catarina, Brazil among rock jetties, rocky reefs and rich coral areas.    Depth range 3 – 92 m (10-300 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Rock Beauty Angelfish feeds on tunicates, sponges, zoantharians and algae.

IMG_7386

REPRODUCTION/DEVELOPMENT: Pair bonding suggests a monogamous relationship. Pairs usually consist of one small and one large fish as well. Pairs will spawn by slowly rising up in the water column while bringing their bellies close together, and releasing large amounts of eggs and sperm. A female can release anywhere from 25 to 75 thousand eggs each evening. This can total as many as ten million eggs for the duration of the spawning cycle. The eggs are transparent and pelagic, floating in the water column hatching in 15 to 20 hours becoming “pre-larval” angelfish attached to their large yolk sac. Has no functional fins, no eyes, or gut. After about 48 hours the yolk is absorbed developing into true larvae feeding on plankton. Growth is rapid and 3 to 4 weeks after hatching the fish will reach about 15-20 mm (0.6-0.8in) and will settle on the bottom.

CONSERVATION: IUCN  Least Concern

REMARKS: Reports of ciguatera poisoning 

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean reef fishes 2018

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7066935367/in/set-72157606840726733/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1bS

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/3610

EOL  eol.org/pages/995079/hierarchy_entries/44730320/details

Animal World  animal-world.com/encyclo/marine/angels/RockBeauty.php

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii  (ray-finned fishes) Order:
Perciformes  (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacanthidae  (Angelfishes)  

Genus/species:  Holacanthus ciliaris  

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Like their close relatives the butterflyfishes, they have a deep, laterally compressed body, a single, unnotched dorsal fin, and a small mouth with brushlike teeth.  The most observable difference between the two families is the long spine at the corner of the preopercle common to angelfishes.

H. ciliaris  is deep-bodied and strongly laterally compressed. Dorsal and anal fins trail. Juveniles have vertical blue bands on an orange-red body. As the fish grows, the bars increase in number before gradually disappearing. The color of large adults is purplish blue with yellow-orange rims to the scales; head above eye dark blue. They have a distinctive “crown” is speckled dark blue and surrounded by a ring of bright blue. Length to 45 cm (18 in), weight to 1.6 kg (3.5lbs).  

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in Bermuda, Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico to Brazil on offshore reefs, 2-70+ m (6-200+ ft). Travel solitary or in pairs among sea fans, sea whips and corals.  

DIET IN THE WILD: Queen angelfish primarily feed on sponges and corals.; also algae, tunicates, hydroids and bryozoans. Juveniles glean ectoparasites from other fish.

 

Queen Angelfish

REPRODUCTION: Pairs reproduce bringing their bellies close together, and release sperm and 25 to 75 thousand eggs (10 million per spawning cycle).  The eggs are transparent, buoyant, and pelagic hatching after 15 to 20 hours into larvae with the yolk sac being absorbed after 48 hours.  The larvae then develop normal characteristics of free-swimming fish feeding on plankton and about 3–4 weeks after hatching the 15–20 millimetres (0.6–0.8 in) long juvenile settles on the bottom. Juveniles  are found among colonies of finger sponges and corals at the bottom of reefs for protection.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least concern

 

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean reef fishes 2018

fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3609

ADW  http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Holacanthus_ciliaris/

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625866509117/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-AV

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Pelagiidae

Genus/species: Chrysaora colorata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The adult purple-striped jellies are silvery white with deep-purple bands.The bell (body) of the jellyfish is up to one meter (3 ft) in diameter. The tentacles vary with the age of the individual, consisting typically of eight marginal long dark arms, and four central frilly oral arms.
Small specimens < 120 mm (4.7 in) are pink with dark red tentacles.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:The adult purple-striped jellies are silvery white with deep-purple bands.The bell (body) of the jellyfish is up to one meter (3 ft) in diameter.

DIET: Zooplankton, including copepods, larval fish, ctenophores, salps, other jellies, fish eggs

REPRODUCTION: Jellies reproduce sexually and asexually.
In the adult, or medusa, jellyfish can reproduce sexually by releasing sperm and eggs into the water, forming a planula. In this larval stage of jellyfish life, which attaches to the bottom of a smooth rock or other structure and grows into another stage. The polyp resembles a miniature sea anemone. During this stage, which can last for several months or years, asexual reproduction occurs. The polyps clone themselves and budhat grows into the adult medusa jellyfish.

PREDATORS: Sunfish, sea turtles. Since divers have seen ocean sunfish eating these jellies, we know some fishes must be immune to the sting.

REMARKS: Young cancer crabs are often found clinging to this jelly, even inside the gut. The crab helps the jelly by eating the parasitic amphipods that feed on and damage the jelly.

The Purple-striped Jellies have a strong sting but isn’t fatal.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/42992188441/in/album-72157629304397467/

Monterey Bay Aquarium .org
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/purple-striped-jelly

Scripps Institute of Oceanography scripps.ucsd.edu/zooplanktonguide/species/chrysaora-colorata

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Grammatidae (Basslets)

Genus/species: Gramma dejongi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is golden-yellow, except for magenta surrounding pelvic-fin insertion, along ventral isthmus, operculum, and membranes and rearward along ventral abdomen; pelvic fins are bright purple-magenta with a darker streak along length of second soft-ray; presence of magenta patch covering first 3-4 dorsal-fin spines.

Length: Up to 4.5 cm (1.77 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical. Found on walls, in shallow reef areas in the Caribbean, Cuba. (only recently discovered in Cuba in 2010 )
Depth range down to 30 m (98.4 ft)

IUCN: Data deficient.

References:

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Water is Life 2018

fishbase www.fishbase.se/summary/65825

Ron’s flickr /https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/28949541998/in/album-72157659936804343/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink. wp.me/p1DZ4b-1XQ

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Blenniidae (Combtooth blennies)

Genus/Species: Meiacanthus smithi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Blennies are distinguished by their single, long continuous dorsal fin, their pelvic fins situated in front of their pectorals, and their habit of resting on the bottom with curved bodies. Smith’s Fang blenny has two canine teeth in their lower jaw have a groove in the front of each tooth which carries venom into any aggressor.

Max length: 8.5 cm (3.34 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-western Pacific Ocean. Found in coastal and inner reef habitats to about 20 m depth.

DIET IN THE WILD: plankton
They have a well-developed swim bladder and reduced vulnerability to predation that allows them to feed in the water column and forage over a wide area

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, Eggs are demersal and adhesive. Distinct pairing.

IUCN Least concern.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Animal Attractions 2018

fishbase www.fishbase.se/summary/Meiacanthus-smithi.html

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/26815445707/in/dateposted-public/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1XK

EOL eol.org/pages/213615/details

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/48342445/0

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: grouper and fairy basslets)

Subfamily: Epinephelinae (Groupers)

Genus/species: Cephalopholis igarashiensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Max length: 43.0 cm (17 in) common length: 25.0 cm (9.8 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. igarashiensis is distributed from southern Japan to Fiji and French Polynesia. Marine; demersal; non-migratory; depth range up to 250 m (820 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on fishes and crustaceans

8REMARKS: The Garish Hind is very rare in the wild and very little is known about it.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions Biologist Rich Ross

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/42822881701/in/album-72157629304397467/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1XE

fishbase. fishbase.us/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5366

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/132791/0

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Sepiida
Family:i Sepiidae

Genus/species: Metasepia pfefferi

Ron’s flickr VIDEO LINK    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/41499251715/in/album-72157659465376212/

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The normal base color of this species is dark brown. Individuals that are disturbed or attacked quickly change colour to a pattern of black, dark
brown, and white, with yellow patches around the mantle, arms, and eyes. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators. The mantle and head are covered with flap-like, fleshy protuberances (papillae),and a V-shaped fleshy ridge runs along the underside. Yellow fins flutter along the sides to propel the animal slowly though the water or along the substrate.

Max mantle length: 6–8 cm (2.5-3.14 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Flamboyant Cuttlefish is found from Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to Australia. Found in shallow, low-energy tropical marine waters (3 to 85 m) with mud, sand, or coral rubble
substrate.

DIET IN THE WILD: M. pfefferi are active diurnal foragers on a variety of foods, especially fish and crustaceans, including “hard-hitting” mantis shrimp. Encircling the mouth are 8 purplish, blade-like arms with rows of suckers used to manipulate prey and 2 flattened, retractable tentacles which can be rapidly extended to catch prey.

LIFE SPAN. 18 and 24 months

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Data Deficient   <a href=”http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0″ rel=”nofollow”>www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0</a>. 2012

REMARKS: One researcher recently claimed M. pfefferi to be the only cuttlefish known to be toxic, asserting that muscle tissue of this species possesses a toxin as deadly as that of its cephalopod relative, the blue-ringed octopus!

They also can produce ink as a defense.

Animals displaying this color pattern have been observed using their lower arms to walk or “amble” along the sea floor while rhythmically waving the wide protective membranes on their arms. It has been suggested that this behavior advertises a poisonous or distasteful nature.

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

One of the most well known features of cuttles is the cuttle bone, which is often used by pet owners to provide calcium for caged birds. Cuttlefish use this multi chambered internal calcified ‘shell’ to change buoyancy by quickly filling or emptying the chambers with gas. Interestingly, while the cuttle bone of most cuttles is as long as the animal’s mantle, the diamond shaped cuttlebone of the Flamboyant is disproportionately small, thin, and only 2/3 to ¾ of the mantle length. The small size of the cuttlebone may make swimming difficult and may accounts for the Flamboyants preference to ‘walk’ along the bottom.

References: California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef  Richard Ross

Advanced Aquarist Volume IX › October 2010 › Aquarium Invertebrates: Metasepia pfefferi – the aptly named Flamboyant Cuttlefish. www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/10/inverts.      Great overview

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Metasepia_pfefferi/

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6179762044/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Canalipalpata
Suborder: Sabellida
Family: Sabellidae

The Sabellidae family (feather duster worms) are a family of sedentary marine polychaete tube worms where the head is mostly concealed by feathery branchiae. They build tubes out of parchment, sand, and bits of shell. Glomerula secretes a tube of calcium carbonate.

The appendages that give this worm its name are finely divided tentacles that act as plankton filters.  They also wave their tentacles to move the water around them, increasing the odds of catching food. Food is then moved from the tentacles into the worm’s mouth. The tentacles long grooves that get progressively smaller, limiting plankton size which is appropriate to eat when it arrives at its their mouth.  An alternate tube runs upward internally for waste is expelled.

Note: The rock above and to the right is covered by a sponge which differs from the 2 verticle sponges and their symbiotic coral.

Reference: Ryan Schaeffer. California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/27331312517/in/album-72157659465376212/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera (sponges.)
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Poecilosclerida
Family: Raspailiidae

Genus/species: Trikentrion flabelliforme

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: White horizontal lines cover a striking red body. Its tree-like base is covered by a white web-like symbiont with a hexacoral from the genus Parazoanthus (order Zoanthidea).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Arafura Sea, a shallow body of water sandwiched between Australia and New Guinea.

DIET IN THE WILD: T. flabelliforme is a filter feeder using its choanocytes or collar cells to filter particles and dissolved substances from seawater.

REMARKS: Parazoanthus is a suspension feeder as its polyps capture food particles from the water. The tissue of Parazoanthus is connected to the skin or pinacoderm of its host sponge, with tissue integration varying between different combinations of sponge and the coral.

Parasitism seems a likely option, where the symbiotic coral benefits at the expense of its host sponge. For example, the coral may impair the sponge’s ability to pump water through its system, which is vital to sponge nutrition, waste removal and gas exchange. Commensalism is also possible, where the coral benefiting while having a neutral effect on the sponge.

T. flabelliforme is difficult to grow in captivity but has been growing in the California Academy Steinhart Aquarium system for a year showing signs of good health.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef
Charles Delbeek curator, 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/41378145924/in/album-72157659465376212/

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