Tag Archive: Color on the Reef

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae

Genus/species: Stichodactyla tapetum  (aka Discosoma tapetum in the past)


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tentacles are short bulbous variegated in a multicolored pattern and densely packed. They are often arrayed in fields on the entire disc. 

Diameter is up to 4 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. tapetum are found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea covering the sand or reef like a carpet.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feed primarily on nutrients of symbiotic zooxanthellae living in their tissues as well as drifting plankton. 

REMARKS:  They are not known to host clown fish, but they are attractive to anemone shrimp and anemone crabs. In the wild, they are favored by Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) and Periclimenes spp. commensal shrimps.

They can give a potent sting if touched.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Stichodactyla_tapetum/classi…

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24745127802/in/album-72157659465376212/

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

Color of Life, Color Conceals. Shape and color provide excellent camouflage. It also is an inefficient swimmer, moving by an undulating motion of its pectoral and dorsal fins blending into the grass.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Syngnathiformes (Pipefishes and seahorses)
Family: Syngnathidae (Pipefishes Seadragons and seahorses)

Genus/species: Syngnathoides biaculeatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Slender tetrahedral body; variably colored green to brown or grey, reportedly depending on habitat. Bony plates on skin form a series of protective rings. Distinct tubular snout with no jaw.
Length up to 29.0 cm


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Red Sea; South Africa to Samoa,
north to southern Japan, south to eastern Australia.
Found in protected coastal shallows over or among algae, seagrasses, or floating weeds. Juveniles occasionally found near the surface.

DIET IN THE WILD: Minute invertebrates and fish larvae.

Alligator pipefish3888361153_13247050f2_b-2

REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous. The male carries the eggs in a brood pouch protectively located under his prehensile tail.

IUCN Red list Data deficient


REMARKS: The prehensile tail is long and tapering and lacks a tail fin. It is used to anchor the fish to vegetation.

Used in Chinese medicine to extract Hailong.


California Academy of Sciences Color on the Reef Exhibit 2015

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/22510763066/in/album-72157608441047857/

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Syngnathoides-biaculeatus.html

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/40715/0

EOL eol.org/pages/995073/details

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

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

Genus/Species:  Chaetodon ephippium

Chaetodon ephippium 8410074954_fcdc073db2_h

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Yellowish grey with a large black spot on the upper rear sides bordered below by a broad white band; orange area from snout to ventral fins, wavy blue lines on the lower sides. The breast and snout are yellow. Adults have a filament extending from the back of the dorsal fin.
Length to 23 cm (9 inches) in length.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific. in lagoons and seaward reefs to 30 m (98 feet) in coral rich, clear waters.

DIET IN THE WILD: Filamentous algae, small invertebrates, sponges, coral polyps, and fish eggs.



Color of Life, Color Conceals.
This Saddleback Butterflyfish helps conceals its head by having a vertical line through the eye and a large eve-like spot on its upper posterior less vital portion of its body confusing  predators.

Color Cluster


California Academy of Sciences Color of life docent training 2015

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

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625119200613/
fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/5562

EOL eol.org/pages/1012777/details

Australia Museum australianmuseum.net.au/Saddle-Butterflyfish-Chaetodon-ep…

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