Tag Archive: freshwater


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

Genus/species: Podocnemis expansa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The side-necked turtles have a long neck which can be withdrawn horizontally within the shell, leaving it partly exposed.  P. expansa is 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). 

Carpace length up to: 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 the Arrau River turtle migrates 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. P. expansa 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 As a side-necked turtle it has a long neck which can be withdrawn horizontally within the shell, leaving it partly exposed a vertical ‘S’ bend , rather than retracting it as in most other turtles (all North American turtles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 senior 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 by government import authorities . The turtle is on loan to us until the zoo has an appropriate location for it.  Several younger turtles ha subsequently joined our senior turtle.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Amazon Flooded Tunnel 2018

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

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

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
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae (carps, true minnows, and their relatives (as the barbs and barbels).
Subfamily: Barbinae (Barbs)

Genus/species: Pethia padamya

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This species exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male has a beige to light brown background with a bright red stripe running the length of the body. The dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins of the male are yellowish-green in color with contrasting black spots.

The female is light beige with a silvery sheen on the scales. The fins are a light yellowish-green; however, only the dorsal fin contains the contrasting black spots, which are fainter than those of the male. Both sexes have a black and prominent spot in the dorsal area, as well as a smaller spot in the caudal area. Average length is 4.5cm or about 2 inches.

 OdessaBarb9830844836_7a262035df_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Central Myanmar in one pond (Toe Gyi village) and one river.

DIET IN THE WILD: Not well-studied, omnivores. Cyprinids are stomachless fish with toothless jaws. Even so, food can be effectively chewed by the pharyngeal teeth the gill rakers of the specialized last gill bow.

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Data Deficient (DD) Has a restricted range in wild. It is known only from two locations in central Myanmar, but more research is needed to find the exact distribution, population and threats, and it appears to be widely available in the aquarium trade.

REMARKS: Named “Odessa barb” because it was said to have first appeared in pet enthusiast’s circles in Odessa, Ukraine in the early 1970s.

Location: Southeast Asia Community (Borneo).

References

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Puntius-padamya.html

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/4627441/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1r0

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5518559419/in/set-72157627795872023/

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

Genus/species: Carinotetraodon irrubesco

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males are larger with brown and creamy stripes on the flanks and dorsal surface. Females are smaller and mottled brown irregular markings on the ventral surface and often a black blotch on the dorsal fin. Eyes protrud above the surface of head;   Length to 44 millimetres (1.7 inches).

Red Eye Puffer16122458395_d56f0c32fd_o 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Sumatra and Borneo in the lower parts of the Banjuasin basin in Sumatra Selatan; and the Sambas river in Kalimantan Barat. Found along bank vegetation in large rivers and in murky acidic brown water.

 CONSERVATION: IUCN and CITES; Not Evaluated

 REMARKS: First reported by Tan, H. H. in 1999 Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 10(4):345-354.

 References

 Vetted Jenoh Gonzales Biologist, Steinhart Aquarium  California Academy of Sciences 1-7-2015

 fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Carinotetraodon-irrubesco.html

 EOL  eol.org/pages/222315/details

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/16122458395/in/set-72157627795872023

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1qS

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

Genus/species: Pterophyllum altum

Altum Angelfish 4689972848_189e460e8f_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Extremely compressed silvery body with two broad dark vertical bands. Remarkably long trailing pelvic fins. Altum refers to the dramatic height of their dorsal and anal fins. Length to 18 cm (7 inches). Max height 20 cm (7.87 inches). Orbital indentation differentiates from Pterophyllum scalare.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon basin, in the upper Rio Negro drainage; Orinoco River basin.

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: External fertilization. Monogamous; pairs persist until partner dies or is separated. Clutch-tending guarders.

Altum Angelfish 3787890518_a572b4929f_b

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Preyed upon by other fishes. Subject to bacterial diseases and protozoan, fungal and worm infestations.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

Flooded Amazon AM05

Ref. fishbase, EOL

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4689972848/in/set-72157608376694453/

WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-18q

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes  (Perch-likes)
Family: Cichlidae  (Cichlids)Genus/species: Geophagus altifrons

Earth eating cichlid 2975336785_c7f6e17516_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Protruding mouth. Head has red weblike markings. Spiky fins.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: South America: Amazon basin in freshwater rivers.

DIET IN THE WILD: Common name derived from this fish’s almost constant digging in the sand for prey.

REPRODUCTION: Fish in this genus are mouth brooders. The parents take turns brooding and spit the fry into the partner’s mouth when their shift is over.

CONSERVATION: Not evaluated.

REMARKS: Genus name translates as “eartheater.” This common name applies to many species. A small, but popular food fish.

Flooded Amazon

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2975336785/in/set-72157608614099673/

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-17X

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae (carps, true minnows, and their relatives (as the barbs and barbels).

Genus/species: Trigonostigma heteromorpha

Harlequin Rasbora  5170276087_941e511e05_b-2

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length to 5 cm (2 inches). Color pattern reddish, pinkish or orange body with a conspicuous black stripe from below dorsal-fin origin to middle of caudal fin base and usually broadened anteriorly so as to have a triangular or hatchet shape.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Thailand to Sumatra, Indonesia in forest streams.

DIET IN THE WILD: Micropredator feeding on small insects, worms, crustaceans and other zooplankton.

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Least concern.

Harlequin Rasbora 3505693009_e11af4c62b_b

Rainforest Borneo Exhibit, Southeast Asia Community display BO09

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627795872023/

WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-16O

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae (carps, true minnows, and their relatives (as the barbs and barbels).

Genus/species: Pethia padamya

9830844836_c473e373de_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This species exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male has a beige to light brown background with a bright red stripe running the length of the body. The dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins of the male are yellowish-green in color with contrasting black spots.
The female is light beige with a silvery sheen on the scales. The fins are a light yellowish-green; however, only the dorsal fin contains the contrasting black spots, which are fainter than those of the male. Both sexes have a black and prominent spot in the dorsal area, as well as a smaller spot in the caudal area.
Average length is 4.5cm (about 2 inches).

Odessa Barb 9830830994_eb9d56b36b_h

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Central Myanmar in one pond and one river.

DIET IN THE WILD: Not well-studied, omnivores. Cyprinids are stomachless fish with toothless jaws. Even so, food can be effectively chewed by the pharyngeal teeth the gill rakers of the specialized last gill bow.

REMARKS: Named “Odessa barb” because it was said to have first appeared in pet enthusiast’s circles in Odessa, Ukraine in the early 1970s.

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/9830830994/in/set-72157608614099673

WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-16w

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Mochokidae (Squeakers or Upsidedown Catfishes)

Genus/species: Synodontis nigriventris

3273164265_85b71b9ef0_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length 9-10 cm (3-4 inches). Ground color khaki, small reddish to black dots cover entire body. Body scaleless with large eyes, a large adipose fin, a forked tail, and three pairs of barbels. The head is flattened and the sides of the body are slightly compressed.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Central Congo basin of Africa. Found in freshwater streams in schools of hundreds to thousands.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivorous scavenger: Feeds mainly at night on insects, crustaceans and filamentous algae, plant debris, bowels of dead fishes. Grazes algae from undersides of cave ceilings or leaves with its little rasp-like teeth while in the inverted position, a posture also used while gleaning food from the water’s surface. Also locates food on the substrate among debris such as rotting plants.

REPRODUCTION: Egg layers, with the young swimming upside-down after they are approximately 2 months old.

3400184132_163e43fe67_b

REMARKS:Remarks: Swimming “upside-down” (ventral toward surface) is normal for adults of this species, which often feed and breathe at the surface. One common name for the family refer to the group’s propensity to make squeaking noises, especially when netted and taken from the water.

CONSERVATION: IUCN least concern 2010.

Water planet Defense cluster catfish WP34

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625017923579/with/3400184132/

WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-11B

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Atyidae

Genus/species: Atyopsis moluccensis

Bamboo Shrimp IMG_0285

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Most species are a brown base color with a tan strip running from head to tail. They vary greatly in color however. Some a greenish-yellow or even red as the base color. Clawless and 4-5 inches in length. Male bamboo shrimp displays two larger forelegs, while the female’s legs are all the same size.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found on high islands from Sri Lanka to the Samoan Islands, and as far north as Okinawa, as well as on the Asian mainland from the Malay Peninsula in freshwater areas where their is high current..

DIET IN THE WILD: Filter feeder. using four fan-like appendages on the head to sweep food particles from the water.

Bamboo Shrimp  8724380835_382a2b1ec6_o

Water Planet

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

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8717355179/in/set-72157608602469734

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