Tag Archive: indo-Pacific


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Apogonidae (Cardinalfishes)

Genus/species: Sphaeramia orbicularis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Orbicular Cardinalfish color is greenish grey with silvery reflections. A narrow dark mid body vertical bar is present from the origin of spiny dorsal fin to just in front of anus. There are variable-sized scattered spots on rear of the body. The pelvic fins have a dark bar.

Length up to 11.5 cm (4.5 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S.orbicularis is native to the Indo-Pacific, E. Africa to Figi, S.W. Japan to New Caledonia. Found in coastal waters among mangroves, rocks, debris and piers. Depth to 3 meters.

DIET IN THE WILD: It feeds at night on planktonic crustaceans.

REPRODUCTION: Like all cardinalfishes they are paternal mouthbrooders.

CONSERVATION: IUCN 2006 Red List; Not evaluated.

References:

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Mangrove Pop-Up, Main floor (level one) 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/39777042992/in/album-72157675807621922/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/4926

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/221177/details

Reef Fish ID Tropical Pacific, Allen et/al 2003, page 266.

Ron’sWordpress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Uj

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Echinodermata
Class:  Asteroidea
Order:  Valvatida
Family:  Oreasteridae

Genus/species: Protoreaster nodosus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The backround body color is highly variable; may be beige, brown, orange, red or other hues, such as green or blue. Horn-shaped tall dark nodules are conical and arranged in a single row, radially on the dorsal (top) side. Most horned sea stars found are a roughly rigid five-pointed star-shape (occasionally 4 or 6) with tapering arms to the end.

Diameter up to 30 cm (12 in).

Protoreaster nodosus15010829781_2ff5562e7a_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Red Sea, Indian and western Pacific oceans. Found in shallow sheltered sand and seagrass beds. Depth range 1 – 582 m (3.3 – 1900 feet).

seastar3289508350_970ef3292c_o 

DIET IN THE WILD: The mouth is located ventrally (bottom). The Chocolate Chip Seastar covers its food, then pushes out its stomach from inside its body of prey. Sea stars have a unique adaptation for consuming bi-valve mollusks (oysters, clams, mussels, etc.). Stars insert a portion of their stomach into the small “gape” between the valves of a mollusk. Stomach enzymes are released and digest the fleshy part of the mollusk inside its own shell. The digested contents are moved back into the sea star leaving an empty bi-valve shell. P. nodosus prefers sponges, corals, clams and snails, other invertebrates; also opportunistic carrion feeders.

 Protoreaster nodosus3289508974_49c4d004de_b

REPRODUCTION: P. nodosus is a broadcast spawner. As in other sea stars, fertilization is external. Eggs and sperm are stored in the rays and released simultaneously. Larvae look nothing like the adults. The form that first hatches from the eggs is bilaterally symmetrical and planktonic. Larvae eventually settle and transform into tiny sea stars.

Lifespan up to 17 years

sea star15201906310_bc5840e0c0_o 

PREDATORS: Triggerfish, pufferfish, boxfish and parrotfish.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated

REMARKS: The Chocolate Chip Seastars are also called “knobbly sea star” and the “horned sea star.”
The chocolate chip sea star can regenerate lost limbs, as long as the central disk of the body is intact. Some species can regenerate an entire body from an arm or arm segment.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Mangrove Pop-Up, Main floor (level one) 2018

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

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/15010829781/in/set-72157608501343477/

Woods Hole www.whoi.edu/science/B/people/kamaral/SeaStar.html

Bishop Museum hbs.bishopmuseum.org/pubs-online/pdf/op11-8.pdf

Georgia Aquarium http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/animal-guide/georgia-aquarium/home/galleries/aquanaut-adventure/gallery-animals/chocolate-chip-sea-star

Reef Creature Identification, Humann and Deloach 2010, page 426

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/4704956/details

Marine Biology http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00227-008-1064-2

 

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

Genus: Caulastrea sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stony coral with a lightweight phaceloid skeleton which gives rise to plump circular polyps clustered on the end of branched stalks. Colors vary, usually green or brown.

 Caulastrea sp.32548578421_33e20ddf0b_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-West Pacific in tropical, protected, shallow reef slopes where the substrate is partly sandy,

REPRODUCTION: Can be easily fragmented and also reproduce by budding.

Remarks: One of the most remarkable and ecologically important features of these corals is that the polyps secrete a hard skeleton, called a ‘corallite’, which over successive generations contributes to the formation of a coral reef. The coral skeleton forms the bulk of the colony, with the living polyp tissue comprising only a thin veneer.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart, Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 285-286.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32548578421/in/album-72157659465376212/

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

Arkive: www.arkive.org/caulastrea/caulastrea-furcata/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes) 
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and spine-foots)

Genus/species: Siganus guttatus

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Siganus guttatus has a Head with lines and spots. It is silvery ventrally and dusky blue dorsally, with numerous orange-gold spots and a large yellow spot below rear base of dorsal fin. 

Length to 42 cm (16.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in East Indo-Pacific to 25 m (75 ft) in inner lagoons, turbid coastal reefs, mangroves and brackish waters. Typically in large groups of conspecifics.

DIET IN THE WILD: These fish are hearty eaters feeding primarily on algae and seagrasses, though are known to nip on large-polyp stony corals as well as soft corals.

REPRODUCTION: Spawners. Fry settles in seagrass beds around river mouths.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated 

REMARKS: Highly esteemed as a food fish.
The spines of rabbitfishes (Siganidae) are venomous, and can inflict painful wounds.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339530941/

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

EOL eol.org/pages/2804181/hierarchy_entries/44731406/details

fishbase fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4588

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Caesionidae (Fusiliers)

Genus/species: Pterocaesio tile

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is elongate.  There is a broad iridescent blue mid-lateral band; dark olive above which becomes bright red along lower half of body at night. 

Length up to 30 cm (12 in)

BluestreakFusilier14026993384_d5edd89351_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongate body. Broad iridescent blue mid-lateral band; dark olive above. Turns bright red along lower half of body at night. Max. size: 30 cm (12 inches).

BluestreakFusilier14003634876_69545bce85_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Marquesas, Japan, New Caledonia, and throughout Micronesia. Found on outer reef slopes and in clear, deep lagoons, to 60 m (180 ft) depth.

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooplankton

REPRODUCTION Oviparous; small pelagic eggs.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Caught commercially, primarily as tuna bait fish

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/14026993384/

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

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/PTEROCAESIO-TILE.html

Encyclopedia of Life  http://eol.org/pages/223543/details

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Apogonidae (Cardinalfishes)

Genus/species: Sphaeramia nematoptera

PajamaCardinalfish5251482115_ef180c71f5_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The head is yellow with a wide black band encircling the central body. Eyes are large and red. The back half of the body has spots. 

Length up to 8.5 cm (3.3 in)

PajamaCardinalfish5251482115_ef180c71f5_b

 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: S. nematoptera is found in the Indian and western Pacific oceans often in reef areas of bays and lagoons along with other members of their species, sheltered among branches of Porites spp.

PajamaCardinalfish4676390664_2406090ef7_b

DIET IN THE WILD: The Pajama Cardinalfish feeds on small fish and crustaceans. At night, it leaves the protection of coral shelter to feed along the bottom at about 15 m (50 feet) deep.

REMARKS: Note the large eyes, a common feature of nocturnal fishes that allows them to gather low light images. They are nocturnal and shelter during the day.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4676390664/in/album-72157625992053826/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Sphaeramia-nematoptera.html

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

Eol   http://eol.org/pages/204401/details 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Blenniidae (Combtooth blennies)

GENUS/SPECIES: Salarias fasciatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The head has small, branched supraorbital and nuchal filamentous skin projections (cirri). The body is usually olive to brown with dark bars and a large number of round or elongated white spots of different sizes with several dusky bands.

Length up to about 12 cm (4.75 in).

Jeweled Blenny8748640285_1b56bb468a_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indo-Pacific. Found in intertidal areas to a few meters in-depth on reef flats and in shallow lagoons and estuaries.

DIET IN THE WILD: Algae eaters; tend to be territorial about feeding areas.

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REPRODUCTION: Oviparous; form pairs and guard nests.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not evaluated

REMARKS: Tends to hop from rock to rock looking for food. Its nickname “Lawnmower Blenny” comes from its prodigious and efficient algal consumption using comb-like teeth that line the jaws.

References

California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef 2016

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/6058

EOL  eol.org/pages/1004162/details

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/6058

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8748640285/in/album-72157625992053826/

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

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Anguilliformes (Eels and morays)
Family: Congridae (Conger and garden eels)
Subfamily: Heterocongrinae

Genus/species: Gorgasia preclara

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Its yellow to orange with characteristic white bands body has a circular shape with a diameter of about 10 mm (0.4 in). Length up to 40 cm (15.75 in) maximum.
Typically, only its head and upper body protrudes from the sand where the garden eel lives in a buried tube in the sand either alone or in small groups.

Garden Eel20776620435_68e152af6d_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-West Pacific in sandy areas exposed to currents at depths between 18 and 75 m (60-245 ft), but is usually observed at an average depth of 30 m (100 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton

CONSERVATION: Not Evaluated

References

fishbase  fishbase.org/summary/Gorgasia-preclara.html

California Academy of Sciences Water is life Exhibit 8-20-15

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/20776620435/in/dateposted/

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

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (chordates)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Beryciformes (Sawbellies)
Family: Monocentridae (Pinecone fishes)

Genus/species: Monocentris japonica

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body except for caudal peduncle armored with huge, immovable scales. Body yellow, scales outlined in black; lower jaw black. Length to 17 cm (6.7 inches).

 PineconeFish14809348647_ca6e4f130d_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific. Tropical marine found in schools in clear water above rocky bottom near reefs. Depth range 10 – 200 m (33-660 feet).

PineconeFish14996127685_785385956b_k

 

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds at night on small invertebrates and zooplankton

 CONSERVATION: IUCN 2006 red list of threatened species

 REMARKS: By moving its jaw M. japonica  exposes a bioluminescence producing organ with pure culture of luminous bacteria which emit light.

 Location: Dark Cluster

 References

 eol eol.org/pages/214300/details

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Monocentris-japonica.html

 Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/14809348647/

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

TAXONOMY
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Gobiidae (Gobies)

Genus/species: Valenciennea puellaris

Maiden GobyIMG_8532

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pale grey body color for Pacific fish with row of large orange spots on side, a series of dash-like markings below, oblong pale blue spots on cheek and opercle.  Length : 20.0 cm (7.8 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical marine Indo-Pacific: red Sea to Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef.
Inhabits sandy areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore feedings off the bottom sifting through the sand. Once the fish has a mouthful of sand, it begins to slowly expel the sand out the gills for any small invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: Monogamous

CONSERVATION: IUCN; Not evaluated

REMARKS: Occurs in pairs and use burrows as refuge.

References

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

flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/14047101767/

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Valenciennea-puellaris.html

eol eol.org/pages/207103/details

 

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