Tag Archive: Amazon flooded tunnel


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Elopiformes (Tarpons and tenpounders)
Family: Megalopidae (Tarpons).

Genus/species: Megalops atlanticus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Tarpon has a large, elongated, moderately deep and compressed body. Sides and belly are silvery and back blue-gray. The caudal fin is deeply forked. They “roll” at the water surface taking in air into their lunglike swimbladder which is attached to the esophagus allowing it to fill directly with air permitting the fish to live in oxygen-poor waters.

Length up to 2.5 m (8 ft) and weight up to 160 kg (350 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Nova Scotia south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the West coast of Africa. Though the majority of its life is spent in the open ocean, M. atlanticus tolerates fluctuating salinities and may be found in coastal waters, bays, estuaries, mangrove-lined lagoons, and rivers, such as the Amazon.

Some populations of M. atlanticus may complete their life cycle in freshwater lakes or as in the California Academy of Sciences flooded Amazon.

DIET IN THE WILD: They feed on sardines, anchovies, and other fishes as well as shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT:  Spawn offshore. High fecundity; a 2.3 m (7.5 ft) female is estimated to produce over 12 million eggs. Spawn in waters which can be temporarily isolated from the open sea. Larvae develop inshore and are leptocephalic in shape (flattened, transparent, and eel-like).

PREDATORS: Natural predators are sharks.

REPRODUCTION: They spawn offshore and exhibit high fecundity, a 2.3 m (7.5 ft) female is estimated to produce over 12 million eggs. They can also spawn in waters that are temporarily isolated from the open sea. Larvae develop inshore and are leptocephalic in shape (flattened, transparent, and eel-like). Life span: at least 55 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Vulnerable

REMARKS: Tarpon are among the most “primitive” existent bony fish.

It is a popular game fish of sportfishers, due to its dynamic reaction once hooked. Since the flesh is of poor quality, they are usually released, though another source states, “The flesh is highly appreciated despite its being bony.” It is marketed fresh or salted.

Their large (up to 8 cm (3 in) diameter) silvery scales are fashioned into jewelry.

References

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-9e

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3458838683/in/set-72157620568438047/

“It’s Easy Being Green” Docent Course. California Academy of Sciences 2014 

 fishbase fishbase.org/summary/1079

 Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/339927/details

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Doradidae (Thorny catfishes)

Genus/species: Oxydoras niger

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  A stocky brown catfish with three pairs of barbels.  Like all members of their family, have bony plates that protect the head and hook-like scutes that run along the lateral line. The Scutes on the O. niger are sharp and can cause significant lacerations.

Length up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length and weigh up to 14 kg (30 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/ HABITAT: South America: Amazon and possibly Orinoco River basins. Occur over mud in streams and lakes.

DIET IN THE WILD: The Ripsaw Catfishes large mouth creates a suction to vacuum up detritus, insect larvae, crustaceans, and plant material. When the forest is flooded, they feed exclusively on seeds and fruit.

REPRODUCTION: Sexes separate. Fertilization is external. Adults are non-guarders.

CONSERVATION: IUCN AND CITES: No special status.

REMARKS: Members of the family Doradidae are known as “talking catfishes” as they make a strange, creaking noise when removed from the water., a sound produced by movement of the pectoral spine within its socket and amplified by the swim bladder.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Amazon Flooded Tunnel 2018

Animal Diversity Web ADW animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Oxydoras_niger/

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Oxydoras-niger.html

 Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6181844571/in/set-72157620568438047/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-96

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Metynnis hypsauchen

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Almost circular in profile; juveniles may be spotted or striped; adults solidly silver with anal and caudal fins edged in red or orange. Length : 15.0 cm (6 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical South America primarily Amazon and Orinoco basins. Found in calm river reaches overhung by foliage.

DIET IN THE WILD: Generally herbivorous, eating leaves of river plants; occasionally eats worms and small insects.

REPRODUCTION: Group spawners. Eggs hatch in 3 days.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List, CITIES, Not Evaluated

REMARKS: A schooling species related to piranhas.
Possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites.

Amazon Flooded Tunnel AM11

References

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6343628168/in/set-72157620568438047/

fishbase  fishbase.org/summary/Metynnis-hypsauchen.html

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/217649/details

Ron’sWordpress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-cl

 

TAXONOMY
 Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines (turtles)
Family: Pelomedusidae (Afro-American Side-necked Turtles)

Genus/species: Podocnemis expansa

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: It’s the largest river turtle in South America. Its Carapace is broad, flat; wider in the back than the front and olive-green to brown in color. Males smaller than females, which can weigh up to 90 kg (200 lbs). Max. size: 80 cm (32 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northern South America: Amazon, Negro and Orinoco River basins. Found in freshwater; large rivers and their tributaries, lagoons and forest ponds. Restricted to calm waters of large rivers during the dry season, but move into the flooded forest where food is plentiful during the high-water season.

DIET IN THE WILD: Aquatic vegetation and fruit, insects and slow-moving prey and carrion. Mutual cleaning behaviour between individuals of this species has been observed. One turtle will position itself at right angles to a second turtle and use its jaws to pull algae from its shell. The turtles will then switch position

REPRODUCTION: During the dry season, migrate to nesting sites on beaches. Females dig a nest in which they lay 75-125 spherical eggs, and then cover them with sand. After about 45 days, hatchlings emerge, usually at night or early morning to avoid midday heat and predators, and head directly to water. Colonial nesting and simultaneous hatching helps maximize survival numbers of this perilous journey.

MORTALITY: can live up to 50 years.

CONSERVATION:  IUCN: Lower Risk/conservation dependent. CITES Appendix II. Eggs and adults have been over-collected for food. These turtles are considered rare throughout the Amazon. Middle Orinoco River has included the protection of nesting beaches, a nursery program for the care and release of hatchlings, and an environmental education program for the public.

REMARKS: A fossil Pelomdusid is thought to be the largest freshwater turtle to have ever lived (carapace length: 230 cm). Even today, the Arrau is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. As a side-necked turtle it has a long neck which can be withdrawn horizontally within the shell, leaving it partly exposed a vertical ‘S’ bend , rather than retracting it as in most other turtles (all North American turtles are not side-necked). 

“Art,” as we call our turtle (Weight: 20 kg or 44 lbs. Age: unknown.), was confiscated in Miami and came to the SF Zoo via the Miami Metro Zoo in 1997.

References

eol Encyclopedia of Life  http://eol.org/pages/6868408/details

IUCN Red List and CITES Appendix II  http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/17822/0

Archive http://www.arkive.org/giant-south-american-turtle/podocnemis-expansa/

Ron’s flickr link  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449490716/

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

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids)
Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae

Genus/species: Hypselecara temporalis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Max. length: to (30cm). An egg-shaped fish with a small mouth. The eye iris may range in color from amber-gold to bright red. Body color is a mustard-yellow with a large, characteristic black blotch at the mid-section of the body and often a horizontal stripe. On the caudal peduncle are some similar, but smaller markings. The belly and throat regions are bright red as is the area near the gill covering and the surrounding parts of the eye. The fins are red with some mustard-yellow areas.  

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon River basin. Found in slow flowing, turbid water.

DIET IN THE WILD: Algae, supplemented with planktonic and terrestrial invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: Sexes separate. Adult males grow larger and have a hump on their head. Fertilization external. Eggs are deposited upon vertical substrates and guarded by both parents. 

 

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List and CITES: Not Evaluated

References

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/12323

 eol Encyclopedia of life http://eol.org/pages/212750/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink:  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-b0

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/15442981620/in/set-72157620568438047/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfish)
Family :Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes)

Genus/species: Phractocephalus hemiliopterus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Named for its orange-red caudal fin. Elongated with a rounded snout and three pairs of barbels around the mouth. The base body color is light black and little dark spots can be seen on the head. A wide, white band extends from the caudal peduncle to the tip of the snout. The belly is black, as are the fins except the upper tip of the dorsal fin which may be orange to red.
Length to 134 cm (4.5 feet). Weight to 44 kg (97 lbs).


Redtail Catfish Phractocephalus hemiliopterus (Pimelodidae)  IMG_8974

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins. Found in large freshwater rivers, streams and lakes.

DIET IN THE WILD: Fish, crabs and fruit.

REPRODUCTION: They exhibit external fertilization and do not guard the eggs. They live approximately 20 to 30 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list and CITES: Not Evaluated.

REMARKS: Because of its size, this cat is a popular game fish. Has been introduced, but is not established in Florida, perhaps a good thing as the redtail is a voracious predator on smaller fishes.
Unfortunately, the Steinhart inhabitants of our open-topped tank have swallowed shoes, cameras, sunglasses, a plastic dinosaur and cell phones, occurrences that have occasionally required manual (and extremely careful) extraction by a biologist or the veterinarian.

References 

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Phractocephalus-hemioliopterus.html

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Class 2014

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3313914505/in/set-72157620568438047/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-91

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Anostomidae (Headstanders)

Genus/species: Leporinus fasciatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Noted by its alternating bands of black and yellow. This striking pattern also suggests the age of a fish. Until about a year old, the juvenile has only five black bands, but about every six months later a band will split in two. At three years, the leporinus will have 10 bands, and the yellow will have a more orange cast. Females are larger than males. Max.length: 30 cm (12 in), though 15 cm (6 in) is more common. 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widely distributed in South America, from Guiana and the Orinoco region to the La Plata basin. Its natural habitat is rocky areas of fast-flowing streams and rivers, though it often migrates into flooded forest areas during the rainy season. 

DIET IN THE WILD: Small invertebrates such as worms, insects, and crustaceans as well as other fish and plant matter. 

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: The species is reported to build nests where the female lays eggs, which are guarded by the male. (fishbase)

MORTALITY and LONGEVITY: Life span: 5 years or more.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Redlist and CITES; Not Evaluated 

REMARKS: Leporinus (”rabbit”) relates to this fish’s two prominent front teeth The species is also known to leap out of the water, so perhaps its name has more than one reference point!

Like all members of its family, it very often positions itself had down to feed in rocky crevices or nibble on algae and green plants.

References

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Leporinus-fasciatus.html

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-9j

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2973195125/in/set-72157620568438047/

 


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Characiformes
Family: Characidae (Characins)
Subfamily: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Piaractus brachypomus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body is deep and laterally compressed, with silvery sides (becoming darker approaching the dorsum) and red coloration on the belly, chin, pectoral fins, and occasionally the leading rays of the anal fin. As in other characin species, a small, unrayed adipose fin is present approximately midway between the dorsal and caudal fins.The remaining rayed fins are uniformly dark-colored. Weight to 25 kg
(55.07 lb). Length 25 to 88 cm (9.84 to 34.65 inches).

Pirapitinga aka Red-bellied Pacu6502615125_d1410c5c16_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical. South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins in open water of large rivers and seasonally flooded forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects and decaying fruits and vegetation that fall in water. (Do these fish celebrate the inevitable last flight of a bola butterfly?)

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization. Although parents abandon their eggs, pacu are brood- hiders, minimizing the chances of the clutch being discovered by predators.
Lifespan to 25+ years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Not evaluated CITES No special status

Pirapitinga aka Red-bellied Pacu8412647627_064badee18_k

REMARKS: Because pacu are closely related to piranha, sharing their coloration and shape, Hollywood producers have been known to use the pacu as a stand-in for piranha. Actors are appreciative of the pacu’s preference for vegetable matter.

Pacu’s dentition allows them to crush fruit, nuts and seeds. Their teeth are cusped and resemble human molars, and they also have very powerful jaw. Can cause serious bites.

Like the tambaqui, an important aquacultured food fish in South America.

Amazon Flooded Tunnel

References

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

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6502615125/in/set-72157620568438047

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/5808

 Animal Diversity Web ADW animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Piaractus_brachyp…

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Characiformes (Characins)
Family: Serrasalmidae

Genus/species: Colossoma macropomum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed body. The body is laterally compressed with an arched back. Color is basically gray to olive above, dark below often with spots and blemishes in the middle. All fins are black. Length to 100 cm (40 inches).. Weight to 30 kg (66 pounds) Length to 100 cm (40 inches).. Weight to 30 kg (66 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins as wild form; aquacultured form widely distributed in South America. Adults: open water of large rivers and seasonally flooded forests. Young stay in black waters of flood plains until maturity.

DIET IN THE WILD: Teeth in front are molars for chewing, NOT ripping. Good for eating fruits, greens and grain during seasonal flooding. Also feeds on zooplankton, insects, snails and decaying plants
ACADEMY DIET: Fruit, pears apples and bananas. (Allan Jan, biologist).

REPRODUCTION: They usually spawn once per year in whitewater rivers and inundated floodplain forests. They are substratum egg scatterers and do not guard their eggs. Life span: 20 years or more.

IUCN Red List and CITES Not Evaulated

REMARKS: C. macropomum has large nasal openings for excellent odor detection.
Can extend lower lip in low oxygen water to increase flow across gills.
Adults are important as seed dispersers for large-seeded plants during seasonal flooding.
Farmed as a food fish in South America. Popular in aquaculture because it can live in mineral poor waters and is very resistant to diseases.
Because the red-bellied pacu are closely related to piranha, sharing their coloration and shape when juveniles, Hollywood producers have been known to use the pacu as a stand-in for piranha. Actors are appreciative of the pacu’s preference for vegetable matter.

References

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/263

Docent Rainforest Course Materials, California Academy of Sciences. 2014

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8v

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2973190705/in/set-72157620568438047/

 



TAXONOMY:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes),
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids).

Genus/species: Heros appendiculatus aka Heros efasciatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed body is silvery; five black vertical bars punctuate the lower half of its flanks, a sixth extends to its dorsal fin. Length to 14 cm (5.5 inches).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Amazon River basin to Upper Orinoco River drainage in Colombia and Venezuela. Found in lakes, standing water, or slow moving water with copious vegetation.   

DIET: Fruits, seeds, green algae and detritus.  

REPRODUCTION:  Guarders, clutch tenders. Up to 1000 eggs are deposited on flat stones or on roots; both parents participate in caring for eggs and larvae.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List; Not Evaluated.

Wild type :wild -type olive green

Turquoise severum (Heros appendiculatus)MG_0179

 

LOCATION: Flooded Amazon Tunnel, AM11

References: 

Ron’s WordPress shortlink: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-9x

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8358691491/in/set-72157620568438047/

 fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/52199

 Encyclopedia of life  eol.org/pages/203885/details

 

 

%d bloggers like this: