Category: TROPICAL MARINE


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
Order: Perciformes  (Perch-likes)
Family: Labridae  (Wrasses)

Genus/species: Halichoeres richmondi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have stunning horizontal chain like stripes going down the full length of their bodies. Male Richmond’s Wrasses tend to be more blue and green in color while females are more orange. Juvenile Richmond’s Wrasses have eye spots on their dorsal fins as well.

Length up to 17 cm (6.7 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Richmond’s Wrasse are found in the Western Pacific from Java to the Philippines inhabiting shallow lagoons and coral reefs, up to a depth of at least 20 m (65.5 feet).

REPRODUCTION: Pair during spawning

REMARKS: Wrasses are most easily identified by their pointed snouts and prominent canine teeth that protrude in front of the jaw. Other common characteristics include their form of propulsion, which depends mostly on the winglike motion of the pectoral fins with only an occasional burst of speed provided by the caudal fin.

CONSERVATION: IUCN least concern.

References

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513954125/in/album-72157629304397467/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions Rich Ross 2017

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

fishbase www.fishbase.se/summary/Halichoeres-richmondi.html

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/187507/0

EOL eol.org/pages/212051/details

 

 

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: 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: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomeae
Family: Mastigiidae

Genus/species: Mastigias papua 

IMG_5610

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The translucent bell of M. papua is usually hemispherical, with a diameter ranging from 30 to 80 mm (1 in to 3 inches). This species has 8 frilled oral arms, rather than tentacles. These arms end in a club-like filament that has a triangular cross-section, though this is absent in some species. Each oral arm has mouths on the club, as well as along the length towards the bell.
Color variation exists within Mastigias papua, though the bell is usually greenish blue to olive-green with yellow, white, and/or brown oval, granular spots across the rim (over the exumbrella). Coloring can be attributed to the zooxanthellae that reside symbiotically within the lagoon jellyfish (mostly in the mesoglea)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Pacific ocean usually bays, harbors and lagoons.

DIET IN THE WILD: Instead of a single mouth, they have many small mouth openings on their oral-arms, which capture small animal plankton. In addition, each jelly grows a crop of algae, which gives them a greenish-brown color. They harvest some of their food directly from the algae.

MORTALITY: Lifespan of approximately 4 months

PREDATION The only creature that has been confirmed to prey on Mastigias papua is a sea anemone, Entacmaea medusivora.

IMG_5608

REMARKS: Some species of small, juvenile fishes are known to shelter within this jelly’s bell for protection from larger predators.
The famous jellyfish of Jellyfish Lake, a well-known dive site in the Pacific islands of Palau, are descended from M. papua However unlike its jellyfish lake cousin M. papua possess venomous stinging cells for feeding and protection.

Human contacts may  experience many adverse effects such as rashes, severe itching, nausea, and vomiting when contacting tentacles.

References

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

Monterey Bay Aquarium  www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/sp…

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Mastigias_papua/

EOL  eol.org/pages/203445/overview

Ron’sW0rdpress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-PC

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157610031545571/with/5985963712/

 

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

Monterey Bay Aquarium

www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/sp…

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Mastigias_papua/

Eol eol.org/pages/203445/overview

 

 

TAXONOMY
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Corallimorphidae

Genus/species: Corynactis sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Note ball tipped tentacles. 

BallAnemone31690177025_2d4172bda6_k 

 

 

DISTRIBUTION: Tropical Indian, Central and Western Pacific Oceans

HABITAT: Reef associated

DIET: Small fish and zooplankton

REMARKS: This close relative of sea anemones has sticky ball-tipped tentacles.  Some species of shrimps and fish are immune to the stickiness and live within the tentacles.

Corallimorpharia (Corallimorph) is an order of marine cnidarians closely related to the true sea anemones (Actiniaria). They are mostly tropical, with a narrow column topped with a wide oral disc. The tentacles are usually short or very short, arranged in rows radiating from the mouth. Many species occur together in large groups. In many respects, they resemble the stony corals, except for the absence of a stony skeleton. 

References

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

EOL eol.org/pages/75554/names

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-ji

flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31690177025/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Fungiidae

Genus/species: Fungia sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hexacoral Genus noted for short, tapering tentacles and a very large mouth opening. The structure is home to a single polyp which sits in a calcareous cup, the corallite. Many septae stretch from the central mouth to sides of the polyp. Usually the form is nearly circular. 

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Diameter up to 28 cm (11 inches

Mushroom Coral24651024753_5ace92aaf6_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and east Africa, west to Hawaii in tropical and subtropical latitudes. Found among other coral, rubble, or on sand.

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton, jellies (using nematocysts), proteins (using sticky cilia)

REPRODUCTION: Fungia corals can reproduce sexually or asexually. During sexual reproduction, eggs and sperm are released into the water where the egg is fertilised and develops into larvae. Juvenile Fungia are attached, but become free-living with age, Budding and fragmentation.also can occur.

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Mushroom Coral5064192598_beeff0e593_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Rather than forming colonies like most corals, Fungia corals are usually solitary and free-living. Because they are unattached, Fungia can be easily moved by waves, and so are most often found in protected places, often at depths where wave action is reduced.

By inflating the body cavity, mushroom corals are able to upright themselves after being overturned. They will travel by inflating their tissue and using current to move.

When Fungi are in immediate contact with other hard corals, they secrete a mucus that can damage coral tissues and prevents the over growth of these neighbouring corals.

Mushroom coral skeleton below


Mushroom Coral24929915125_850e98ad03_k

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Water is life Color on the Reef 2017

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page253-257

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5063580569/in/album-72157659465376212/

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

Arkive www.arkive.org/mushroom-corals/fungia-spp/

Animal World animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Plate-Coral

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Trachyphylliidae (Solitary stony Coral)

Genus/species: Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Name comes from Gr: trachys (rough) and phylon (leaf) as it looks like a leaf lying on the substrate. Trachyphyllia are secondarily free-living, usually beginning growth as a single polyp attached to a hard surface. Later it breaks off, and is found detached on sandy or muddy bottoms. Color may vary with depth or substrate: pink to red,
brownish, gray, green, or blue, even multistreaked and iridescent. Fleshy polyps extend well beyond the margin of the stony skeleton.

Open Brain Coral30683128974_b9d9e4ba50_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indian and Western Pacific oceans on sandy bottoms among seagrass in the outer feel margins.

DIET IN THE WILD: Nutrition from photosynthetic zooxanthellae; also microplankton and other small food bits. Tentacles extended in low light or at night to capture plankton.

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Near Threatened (NT)

REMARKS: Tangs and angelfishes like to nip and feed on them.
At night their soft tissues may swell to remove debris and sand that accumulates during the day.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 301-3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/30683128974/in/album-72157659465376212/

Australian Institute of Marine Science  coral.aims.gov.au/factsheet.jsp?speciesCode=0350

Arkive.org www.arkive.org/open-brain-coral/trachyphyllia-geoffroyi/

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/133260/0

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1L5

 

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