Category: CORAL REEF


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

Genus/species: Neocirrhites armatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hawkfishes are bottom feeders without swim bladders usually found in coral branches. Cirri at the tips of their dorsal fins identifies them.

The Flame hawkfish has brilliant red color with a black stripe that runs along the base of their dorsal fin, as well as black circles around their eyes.

Length up to 9 cm (3.5 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Pacific Ocean: Great Barrier reef to Micronesia on corals.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crustaceans

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, monogamous

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32538479733/in/album-72157629304397467/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions 2017

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/5832

EOL eol.org/pages/204618/details

reef keeping www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/hcs3/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QC

 

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

Genus/species: Chelmon rostratus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: All species have a deep, laterally compressed body with a continuous dorsal fin and distinctive rounded anal fin. Many have a band across the eye and/or a false eyespot, patterns that may lure a predator to attack the tail
rather than the head.
The C.rostratus has a whitish body with 4 vertical orange bands and a black false eyespot on the terminal orange band. The snout is long with beak-like mouth.

Length to 19 cm (7.5 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are found in the Andaman Sea to Papua New Guinea, north to Ryukyu Island, south to Northwest Australia and Great Barrier Reef in estuaries and coastal reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Though the diet of the Copperband Butterflyfish is well documented, they are believed to feed heavily on tube worms and small crustaceans using their long snout for prying into the crevices of coral.

REPRODUCTION: Butterflyfishes unlike most fishes are usually monogamous, forming pairs and are often seen swimming together.   They are broadcast spawners an external method of reproduction where the female releases unfertilized eggs into the water. At the same time, a male release sperm into the water which fertilizes the eggs which contain a drop of nutrient oil to sustain the embryo  developing inside the egg case. Oil also provides buoyancy, so the eggs float and drift with the current.  Planktonic eggs hatch within a few days becoming the larval stage lasts from several weeks up to 2 months.  During the late larval stage the head and body are covered with bony plates which mature into small fry fish.

Copperband Butterflyfish8387609757_79c1b099a9_b

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: The Copperbanded Butterflyfish is a food fish marketed locally. and is reported to be “not good” from a culinary standpoint.

Color of Life, Color Conceals.   The Copperband Butterflyfish helps conceals its head by having a vertical line through the eye which matching the 3 other vertical orange bands. A large false spot on its terminal orange band (a less vital portion of its body) confuses predators.

References

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3380844264/in/set-72157625119200613/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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

EOL eol.org/pages/339397/details

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5483

Australian Museum australianmuseum.net.au/Beaked-Coralfish-Chelmon-rostratus

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes)

Genus/species: Acanthurus triostegus

Convict surgeonfish 8156826256_a90f659c94_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Convict Tang is a very common surgeonfish.  It is oval in profile and laterally compressed, gray with 4 vertical stripes (1 stripe on head across the yellow eye; 1 on caudal peduncle). The erectile spine on each side of caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove.  This scalpel like spine causes a nasty cut if the fish is treated roughly by a predator or a human. 

Common length : 17.0 cm (6.7 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  A. triostegus is found in lagoons and seaward reefs in areas of hard substrates from sea level to 90 m (300 feet) in the Indo-Pacific.

Typically occurs in shallows to 5 m (16 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a herbivore which uses its serrated teeth along creating saw-like motion to remove filamentous algae from the substrate.

ConvictTang8358632069_43f1bc0004_k

REPRODUCTION: The Convict Tang spawns at dusk with females broadcasting eggs into open water where the males fertilize them.  Larvae drift ~75 days. Post-larvae settle in intertidal areas of benches and reef flats.

PREDATORS: Eggs and sperm are preyed upon by eagle rays, which are often present during spawning.

CONSERVATION: IUCN, Least concern.

REMARKS: This black-barred fish’s common name presumably alludes to the coloration of many prison uniforms of the previous century.

 

References

Ron’s Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3185789781/in/set-72157608332652056/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/1260

Aquarium of the Pacific www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/co…

Monterey Bay Aquarium www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/AnimalDetails.aspx?en…

EOL eol.org/pages/203984/overview

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

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Tetraodontiformes (Puffers and filefishes)
Family: Monacanthidae (Filefishes)

Genus/species: Oxymonacanthus longirostris

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: their color is pale blue with about eight longitudinal rows of orange-yellow patches, or green with small dark-edged yellow to orange spots.Their is a dark spot on the caudal fin. The snout is long with a small upturned mouth;

Length up to 12 cm (4.72 in)

DISTRIBUTION/ HABITAT: They are found in the Indo-Pacific. in clear lagoons and seaward reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds almost exclusively on Acropora polyps throughout the day. The protruding snout and teeth that project from small mouth, permit them to snip off coral polyps. In captivity they can be fed a number of other food items, such as fish eggs, tiny mysid shrimp, and flake and pellet food.

 

REPRODUCTION: The Orange Spotted Filefish are found in pairs or small groups and nests near the bases of dead corals, often on clumps of algae. Monogamous except if the male population dwindles, then the largest males, become polygamous, breeding with more than one female. The male chatters his mouth along the underside of the female’s jaw presumably to synchronize the spawn. The female places her abdomen into the algae, and the male joins her alongside to fertilize. Non-guarders.

REMARKS: O.longirostris feeds on Acropora corals in Australia, ingesting coral chemicals which cause them to take on the scent of their food (Acropora).  This is the first time scientists have discovered a vertebrate chemically camouflaging itself via its diet, The cod were less active and spent less time hunting around the filefish that ate Acropora than around the fish that ate Pocillopora, indicating that the cod could not detect the Acropora-eating filefish.

References

California Academy of Sciences Animal Attractions Rich Ross 2017

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4540304067/in/set-72157625020091079/

News National Geographic.com  news.nationalgeographic.com/news/fish-smell-like-the-cora…

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Oxymonacanthus-longirostris.html

EOL eol.org/pages/204726/details

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



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda (octopuses, squid, cuttlefish; and Nautiloidea)
Order: Octopoda
Family: Octopodidae (octopus species)

Genus/species: Octopus cyanea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Dark eye-spots are only sometimes visible and depends upon the patterns being displayed by individual octopuses. Cryptic Coloration: they are able to change coloration, and texture of their skin, to resemble their environment (adaptive or active
camouflage).


Bodies up to at least 16 cm (6 inches) and arms to at least 80 cm (30 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical reefs from Hawaii to East Africa. O. cyanea is found in excavated lairs in coral reefs and rubble which can be located by identifying remains of clams, crabs at the entrance.

 

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds during daylight hours requiring exceptional camouflage. Consumes crabs, clams and fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Males have a long modified third right arm that they hold in an upright coiled position and wave toward the female. When the female is receptive to the signaling male, he inserts his arm into the female’s oviducts to pass her spermatophores keeping his distance to avoid being eaten by the female.

Day Octopus (aka Big Blue Octopus)
Day Octopus19111242362_db83003f76_k

 

PREDATORS: Seals and large fish.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; not assessed 2015

References

California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/19111242362/in/album-72157652559028013/

Encyclopedia of Life  www.eol.org/pages/593207/details

Marinebio  marinebio.org/species.asp?id=553

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

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order:Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes, Chromis, Aneomonefishes)
Subfamily: Amphiprioninae (anemonefishes)

Genus/species: Amphiprion ocellaris

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are orange with three broad vertical white bands with thin black margins. Females are larger than males. Similar to the Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) but has 11 spines in the dorsal fin compared to 10, while the spiny part of the dorsal fin is also taller.

Length up to 9 cm (3.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found among tropical Pacific Ocean coral reefs. They sleep and feed among the tentacles of their host anemone. Stichodactyla gigantea, Stichodactyla mertensi, as well as the anemone Heteractis magnifica and others. The False Clownfish is usually found at depths of about 15 m (50 ft).

(Amphiprion ocellaris) aka FALSE CLOWNFISH

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds primarily on zooplankton, especially copepods and also on filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: A. ocellaris breeds continuously at the Steinhart. Adhesive eggs are laid on a patch of cleared rock near the host anemone’s base and guarded by the male. Eggs hatch after 10 days. The tiny transparent planktonic larvae swim away from the anemone. Two weeks later the larvae metamorphose into small fish. As protandrous hermaphrodites; all individuals mature as males, and all females are sex-reversed males. In the absence of a female the largest male will turn into a female.

Longevity: Up to 12 years in captivity

REMARKS:  Clownfish and anemone display a classic case of mutualism. Clownfish become resistant to their host by gradually (matter of minutes to days) acquiring a covering of mucus
by brushing against the tentacles of their host. Once the fish has become chemosensorilly camouflaged, the host anemone’s nematocysts do not sting the clownfish.

Some of the anemone’s nutrition results from the clownfish’s activities; clownfish gain protection among the anemone’s nematocysts.

Nemo and his parents in Finding Nemo resemble this species. That said, Marlin, Nemo’s father, given the scenario would have changed into a female following the death of Nemo’s mother and remained near his host anemone, rather than swimming to Sydney. But then the film makers wouldn’t have a narrative to support this film! The name “Nemo” has found its way into FishBase (http://www.fishbase.org) as a common name for this species in the USA!        

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine coral reef 2016

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Amphiprion_ocellaris/

fishbase  fishbase.org/summary/Amphiprion-ocellaris.html

Flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339622313/

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-mp

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Ricordeidae

Genus/sp. Rhodactis spp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Rhodactis mushroom grow much larger than other mushroom genera, some attaining sizes of more than 10 inches across. The surface of their mushroom cap is covered with small tentacles (verrucae) or large warty knobs that are radially arranged. They are found attached to rock.

Rhodactus32905288196_ab8d24778a_z

DIET IN THE WILD: Ricordeidae feed both on the products of zooxanthellae, and on zooplankton or fish they catch with their tentacles and nematocysts as well as dissolved organic matter.

Rhodactus32774273105_54135cc7e6_z

REPRODUCTION: Asexual reproduction occurs by two mechanisms. Split or fission reproduction occurs when the coral splits along its mouth creating a clone. Alternatively, particulates released from the foot can develop into a new specimen, which is called laceration.

Sexual reproduction produces a larva called a Planula which once on the seabed develops into a new individual.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA12 2017

Aquarium Corals Eric Borneman TFH publications 2001 pages 206-209

EOL eol.org/pages/4680444/overview

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1M9

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32905288196/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Alcyonacea
Family: Alcyoniidae

Genus/species: Lobophytum sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Typically colored yellowish brown, some ridged leather corals colored green by their algal endosymbionts. Lobed leather corals often encrusting or low and spreading. Upper surface with rounded or finger-like lobes. Usually no real stalk; colony often grows out from a low platform. Large polyps distinctly spaced from one another. Tentacles are retractile.

Tentacles retracted below

Lobophytum sp.32131393013_65a065d26a_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in Indo-Pacific, Red Sea tropical coral reefs. Zonation varies by species, intertidal to 30 m. Notes apply to entire genus composed of at least 47 species.

Tentacles extended below

lobophytum sp.15794440950_f989b64b19_k

DIET IN THE WILD: They capture microscopic food particles from the water column, can absorb dissolved organic matter, and also use algal photosynthesis.

REPRODUCTION Typically reproduces asexually by budding or fragmentation.

REMARKS: Like Sarcophyton sp., to which it’s closely related, Lobophytum has two distinct types of polyps, one quite small, the other larger. Sinularia has only one.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17 2017 Vetting Charles Delbeek

Aquarium Corals Eric Borneman TFH publications 2001 pages 127-129

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32131393013/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1M0

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Dendrophylliidae

Genus/species: Turbinaria reniformis

(Brain coral Platygyra sp. on the right)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: T. reniformis may form cup, vase, or spreading scroll-like plates, Color yellow, brown, or sometimes green. The corallites widely spaced apart from each other with the polyps like short tufts sprouting from the surface.

Diameter of plates up to 1 meter (3 ft)

turbinaria32394123080_1e4c866324_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Habitat: Variable, from shallow turbid water to clear reef flats and deeper reef slopes ( 2 to 15 metres)

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooxanthellae provide nutrients and energy, and help remove metabolic wastes.

REPRODUCTION: Unlike most corals which are hermaphroditic (T. reniformis have both male and female sex organs releasing gametes for external fertilization.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Vulnerable (VU) T. reniformisis is susceptible to bleaching and disease due to a more restricted depth range,

REMARKS: When irritated, it can produce large amounts of clear mucus which can damage other corals; the mucus is presumed to contain nematocysts or a toxin.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Shrimpfish exhibit and Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit, 2017 Pam Montbach

Aquarium Corals E.H. Borneman 2001 ppg 318-321

EOL eol.org/pages/1016035/details

ARKIVE  www.arkive.org/yellow-scroll-coral/turbinaria-reniformis/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LJ

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32428403365/in/album-72157659465376212/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Faviidae

Genus: Platygyra sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colonies can be massive, encrusting, dome-shaped or flattened. Corallites (the skeletal cup, formed by an individual stony coral polyp, in which the polyp sits) form meandering walls of brown, green, or gray surrounding contrasting valleys of cream, pink, gray, or even fluorescent green. 

Platygyra32394124350_d187cacd4e_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea and around Australia and Southeast Asia. Inhabits a variety of reef locations, including reef flats, back reefs, and deeper waters.

DIET: Primary nutrition received from the photosynthesis of symbiotic zooxanthellae. Supplemental diet from capture of microplankton by stinging tentacles.

REPRODUCTION: Sexually by spawning and asexually by budding (polyps divide to form new polyps)

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern (LC)

References

California Academy of Steinhart Aquarium Sciences Color on the Reef Shrimpfish exhibit 2017

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32394124350/in/album-72157659465376212/

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman 2001 ppg 298-99

Arkive  www.arkive.org/brain-coral/platygyra-daedalea/

Carpenter, K.E. (1998) An introduction to the oceanography Corals ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/w7191e/w7191e10.pdf

IUCN Red List 2009 www.iucnredlist.org/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LE

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