Tag Archive: Hidden Reef


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.


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


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.


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/

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

Genus/species: Amphiprion latezonatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  The very wide mid-body bar is much narrower at the top than at the bottom. The body is dark brown with three white bars, middle bar very wide, more than twice the width of the mid-body bar of most other anemonefishes. A. latezonatus often has bright blue markings on the upper lip and the edges of the bars. Has blue lips as well as a broad bar on the sides of the body. The dorsal fin may be orange or yellow. The caudal fin has a pale posterior margin.

Length up to 15 cm (6 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Wide-Band Clownfish is found on the Western Pacific: Australia and New Caledonia inhabiting rocky and coral reefs. Depth to 5-45 metres (16-150 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore, feeds mainly on planktonic crustaceans (copepods, mysis, and shrimp larvae and some algae.

            Juveniles below note the different color.  NOT CURRENTLY ON EXHIBIT

REPRODUCTION: Clownfish are oviparous with distinct pairing during breeding. Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs.
Protandry refers to organisms that are born male and at some point in their lifespan change sex to female. Protandrous animals include clownfish. If the female clownfish is removed from the group, such as by death, one of the largest and most dominant males will become a female. The remaining males will move up a rank in the hierarchy.

Juveniles below note the different color.  NOT CURRENTLY ON EXHIBIT

REMARKS: Associated with the anemone Heteractis crispa in the wild.

Academy captive Entacmaea sp.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018 Vetted Curator Charles Delbeek

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Amphiprion-latezonatus.html

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/39139992210/in/album-72157659465376212/

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

EOL eol.org/pages/24566/details

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes. (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Scorpaenidae (Scorpionfishes or rockfishes)
Subfamily: Scorpaeninae

Genus/species: Taenianotus triacanthus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Leaf Scorpionfish is tan to reddish or brown in color. It has prickly papillae instead of scales. Inhabits reef flats, outer reef slopes, current-swept channels, and rarely on lagoon reefs. They have venomous spines.

Length up to 10.0 cm (4 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The are found in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Galapagos Islands, north to Ryukyu and Hawaiian islands, south to Australia and the Tuamoto Islands. Inhabits reef flats, outer reef slopes, current-swept channels, and rarely on lagoon reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on small crustaceans and fishes


REMARKS: T. triacanthus are solitary and usually immobile among algae or seagrass but has hip movements resembling that of a leaf falling down from a tree. They molt twice a month with the skin breaking off first in the head region.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

fishbase http://fishbase.org/summary/5824

IUCN  http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/79800214/0

EOL eol.org/pages/212250/details

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink https://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1WK

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


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.


Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3380844264/in/set-72157625119200613/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef and Hidden Reef 2018

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

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Discosomatidae (Corallimorphian)

Genus/species: Discosoma spp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Generally they are disc shaped with a conical mouth, and the oral disc may be smooth, ribbed, with small or large pseudo tentacles or none at all. Unlike Rhodactus spp., most Discosoma spp. have smooth disc surfaces that lack obvious tentacles, though some may have small or rudimentary tentacles that are visible as rows of knobs.  Discosoma spp.  have many different colors such as blue, red, green and purple and some comes in stripes and spotted pattern,

The consistency of the tissues is thick and, due to copious mucus production, they are slippery to the touch.


Diameter up to 8–15 cm (3-6 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widespread in Indo-Pacific; also common in the Caribbean. Found in tropical coral reefs, typically in dense aggregations.


DIET IN THE WILD: Discosoma spp. is a microcarnivore of plankton; may also possess zooxanthellae.

REPRODUCTION: Sexual and asexual, mostly through budding and pedal laceration. Formation of colonies of clones is common for most species.



Corallimorphs are, as their name implies, very coral-like, but they do not secrete a skeleton.

Aquarists commonly use the generic term Actinodiscus.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2018

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page 201-3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/26535600445/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Kn

Advanced Aquarist www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/10/inverts#section-0

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