Category: TROPICAL MARINE


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

Genus/species: Chromis enchrysura

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Max length : 10.0 cm (4 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to Western Atlantic: through the Caribbean Sea to southern Brazil. Found among steep slopes and outer patch reefs.. Depth range 5 – 146 m (16-480 ft)

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, pairs during breeding. Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef 2018

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/summary/188315/0

fishbase  https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Chromis-enchrysura.html

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

Genus/species: Chaetodon aya

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: C. aya is a silver–white-colored fish with yellow on all fins except the pectoral fins. It also has vertical dark bars on its eyes and near its caudal fin and a broad dark bar sloping down and backward from middle of spiny dorsal fin to base of rear part of anal fin.

Bank butterflyfish Chaetodon aya,Chaetodontidae_RJD IMG_2745

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Central Atlantic: North Carolina and northeastern Gulf of Mexico to Yucatan in Mexico; unknown in Bahamas and Antilles. Found along deep offshore reefs, marine; depth range 20 – 170 m (65 – 550 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Mouth small, terminal and protrusible with a band or rows of small brushlike teeth. Most Chaetodontidae feed on a combination of coelenterate polyps or tentacles, small invertebrates, fish eggs, and filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, Form pairs during breeding

CONSERVATION: IUCN, Least concern. (LC)

 

REMARKS: Is shaped to hover and navigate holes and crevices in the reef. It has a small protruding mouth and many small teeth in both jaws to reach and eat food items unavailable to many other fishes.

The vertical line going through the eye disguises the eye and makes it harder for a predator to figure out which is the front of the fish and which is the back, perhaps giving the butterflyfish a brief chance to escape while the predator hesitates.

Butterflyfish and angelfishes, have evolved bodies which are deep and laterally compressed like a pancake. Their pelvic and pectoral fins are designed differently, so they act together with the flattened body to optimise manoeuvrability.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef 2018

 

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4405137655/in/set-72157625119200613

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3601

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/165621/0

TAXONOMY

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Orders: Lophiiformes (Anglerfishes)
Family: Antennaridae (frogfishes)

Genus/species: Antennarius maculatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large dark spot is located under the dorsal fin and can also have black spots on the body and fins. Their thick skin is covered by dermal spicules which are spiky and look like warts. The frogfish has small, laterally directed eyes but a large mouth. The mouth is upturned and can expand to the width of the body to swallow prey. It has small gill openings which are situated behind the pectoral fins.

 

Length up to 15 cm (6 inches)

 Frogfishes pectoral fins are modified and look like feet, including small toes. They are able to use the leg-like fins to walk across the bottom of the ocean floor.

30879951683_3b6c03e5fb_o

The first dorsal spine, the illicium is modified and is used as a fishing rod. Its extremity is endowed with a characteristic esca (lure), which looks like a small fish with a pinkish to brownish coloration.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indian and Western Pacific Oceans among sheltered rocky reefs, algae, sponges and soft corals to 15 meters (49 feet).  It is a reef dweller, perching on coral ledges.

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore. Each frogfish species moves the rod (illicium) with its lure (esca) in a special pattern to attract the attention of potential prey. The frogfish can swallow fish, its main diet, that are larger in size than itself. It lowers it lower jaw and expands its upper jaw to expand the mouth, then it sucks the prey in by creating suction in the mouth, a maneuver called gape and suck reported to take only 1/6th of a second.

REPRODUCTION: Frogfish are oviparous; Eggs are bound in ribbon-like sheath or mass of gelatinous mucus called ‘egg raft’ or ‘veil’.
During mating they do not tolerate each other except for the act of fertilization. The female can kill or eat the male if he stays close.

LIFESPAN: 3-5 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

LIFESPAN: 3-5 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS:

The longlure frogfish does not have a swim bladder, so it does not swim very often. It moves by sucking water in its mouth and expelling it through its gills.

Frogfishes are able to change colors (from yellow to red or green to brown) to match nearby sponges or corals and their black spots mimic openings (ostia) of sponges.

The frogfish exhibits biofluorescence, that is, when illuminated by blue or ultraviolet light, it re-emits it as red, which may assist intraspecific communication and camouflage.

References

Note: The above frogfish photos were of multiple different fishes taken between 2008 and 2018 at the California Academy of Sciences San Francisco, CA. 

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef 2018

Reproduction:  http://www.pbase.com/imagine/frogfishspawn

Florida Museum  www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/fish/discover/species-profiles/…

EOL  http://eol.org/pages/205404/details

fishbase  http://fishbase.org/summary/Antennarius-maculatus.html

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

Reef sites (color changes) http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1007/s00338-016-1500-6?author_access_token=QUU5tuAAHyf1lyvDYxkzJPe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY7Z0HBANUYKVVBBJDO0QDoP-bDRJZ9Bhk4OJAon8AHurEXVNikB9zR_mJh84KLzMLA2wUITSMK6S7kRi0s4vsexmplaeSw93llcvBJo7jTI_g%3D%3D

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8296644088/in/album-72157652559028013/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Labridae (Wrasses)

Genus species: Halichoeres garnoti
.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: All yellowed wrasses begin their lives as females. As they grow they change theirs and coloration. Adults are blue above the lateral line and have a yellow belly. Juveniles are yellow with a silvery blue stripe along the side. Super males (terminal males), have black vertical bar behind tip of pectoral fin, merging with broad black area on upper side.

Length up to 19 cm (7.5 in)

Yellowhead Wrasse

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. garnoti are native to the Western Atlantic; Bermuda and southern Florida to southeastern Brazil.
Commonly found on shallow and deep reefs and exposed ledges.

DIET IN THE WILD: Crustaceans, molluscs, worms, echinoderms.

REMARKS: Curious; easily attracted by divers. Diurnal; swim constantly during the day and rest at night.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium Caribbean Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2958190043/in/album-72157625866509117/

Ron’s WordPress permalink https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2958190043/in/album-72157625866509117/

 

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

Genus/species: Chromis cyanea

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Blue Chromis body is laterally compressed with a small mouth. The color is brilliant blue; nape and back often dark. The slender tail is deeply forked has dark borders. 

Length up to 15 cm (2.3 – 6 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico in schools of the outer reef slopes and exposed patch reefs. 

Depth 3–60 m (10-200 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooplankton, primarily copepods.

REPRODUCTION: Lay demersal eggs, which are guarded by the male.

PREDATORS: Preyed upon by other fishes such as grouper and trumpet fishes.

LIFESPAN: 5 years in captivity

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Often in large aggregations retreating into coral crevices when frightened.

The Blue chromis also use olfaction and mechanoreception (lateral line) to detect water movement and vibration, and can also hear using their well-developed inner ears.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Caribbean Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339622313/with/6190673709/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-G9

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3642

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/165910/0

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Chromis_cyanea/

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

Genus/species: Acanthurus bahianus

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Oval body with uniform color (Usually blue-gray to dark brown), the pale to dark marking around the eyes, and the light yellow is now found on their bodies. Most have blue or white markings on the dorsal fin, anal fin, and tail fins and pale bands can sometimes be seen at the base of their tails.

Common length : 25.0 cm (10 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA and Bermuda southward to the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Ascension and St. Helena islands. Inhabits shallow bottoms with coral or rocky formations, depth range 2 – 40 m (6.5-130 ft).

IMG_5549

DIET IN THE WILD: Algae

Conservation: IUCN Least Concern

REMARKS: The Ocean Surgeonfish spine on both sides of the caudal peduncle may inflict painful wounds.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef 2018

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

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8485049836/in/set-72157608332652056/

  http://eol.org/pages/223263/details

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

Genus/species: Gramma loreto

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Bicolored: purple (appearing blue underwater) in front, bight orange-yellow behind. Length to 8 cm (3.1 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  Native to the Western Central Atlantic (Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda). Found in caves or under ledges. Swim with belly toward substratum, thus under ledges seen upside down. 

Family: Grammatidae (Basslets)

Genus/species: Gramma loreto

DIET IN THE WILD: G. loreto feed on ectoparasites of other fishes.

REPRODUCTION/DEVELOPMENT: External fertilization. Prior to spawning, some males establish nest sites, using small holes and crevices in the substratum. Females travel to male nests for egg deposition around dawn.  Males guard and maintain the nest.   

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated

REMARKS:The Royal Gramma Basslet often rests or retreats when alarmed to a stereotypic “upside down” posture near cave roofs. 

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608545590153/

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

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=5281&g…

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/211815/details

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes and Their Allies)

Genus/species: Pterois volitans

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The Red Lionfish has a compressed body with a large head from 1/3 to 1/2 the standard length. Greatly enlarged pectoral fins and elongate dorsal fins. Vertically colored brownish bars interspersed with fine white lines. Two visually identical species have been introduced into the north-west Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico making positive identification only by genetic analysis.

Length to 38 cm (54 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: P. volitans occurs throughout most of Oceania being native to the western Pacific Ocean and introduced to the Atlantic possibly through the aquarium trade. Inhabits coral reefs and lagoons, turbid inshore areas to depths to 50 m (160 ft). 

DIET IN THE WILD: A voracious nocturnal predator of small fishes, shrimp and crabs. Corners and traps prey with its widespread pectoral fins.

 

PREDATORS: Other than cannibalism, there are few documented natural predators of the lionfish  Native groupers in the Bahamas consume them. Finally despite their venomous spines, lionfish are caught by humans for food. 

LIFESPAN 10 years

CONSERVATION IUCN Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venomous glands at the base of dorsal, anal and pelvic fin spines are capable of inflicting severe and painful wounds. The venom contains a neurotoxin which reduces the transmission chemical signals to the muscles, as well as affecting the cardiovascular system. Doctors suggest soaking the afflicted area in very hot water to denature the venom’s proteins. Experimental evidence suggests that commercial stonefish antivenom does have some detoxifying effect on lionfish venom.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Caribbean Reef 2018

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

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608341866427/with/8355039924/

Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pterois_volitans/

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=5195&lang=Swedish

 

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

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