Tag Archive: marine


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

Genus/species:  Holacanthus ciliaris  

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Like their close relatives the butterflyfishes, they have a deep, laterally compressed body, a single, unnotched dorsal fin, and a small mouth with brushlike teeth.  The most observable difference between the two families is the long spine at the corner of the preopercle common to angelfishes.

H. ciliaris  is deep-bodied and strongly laterally compressed. Dorsal and anal fins trail. Juveniles have vertical blue bands on an orange-red body. As the fish grows, the bars increase in number before gradually disappearing. The color of large adults is purplish blue with yellow-orange rims to the scales; head above eye dark blue. They have a distinctive “crown” is speckled dark blue and surrounded by a ring of bright blue. Length to 45 cm (18 in), weight to 1.6 kg (3.5lbs).  

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in Bermuda, Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico to Brazil on offshore reefs, 2-70+ m (6-200+ ft). Travel solitary or in pairs among sea fans, sea whips and corals.  

DIET IN THE WILD: Queen angelfish primarily feed on sponges and corals.; also algae, tunicates, hydroids and bryozoans. Juveniles glean ectoparasites from other fish.

 

Queen Angelfish

REPRODUCTION: Pairs reproduce bringing their bellies close together, and release sperm and 25 to 75 thousand eggs (10 million per spawning cycle).  The eggs are transparent, buoyant, and pelagic hatching after 15 to 20 hours into larvae with the yolk sac being absorbed after 48 hours.  The larvae then develop normal characteristics of free-swimming fish feeding on plankton and about 3–4 weeks after hatching the 15–20 millimetres (0.6–0.8 in) long juvenile settles on the bottom. Juveniles  are found among colonies of finger sponges and corals at the bottom of reefs for protection.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least concern

 

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean reef fishes 2018

fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/summary/3609

ADW  http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Holacanthus_ciliaris/

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157625866509117/

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

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Semaeostomeae
Family: Pelagiidae

Genus/species: Chrysaora colorata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The adult purple-striped jellies are silvery white with deep-purple bands.The bell (body) of the jellyfish is up to one meter (3 ft) in diameter. The tentacles vary with the age of the individual, consisting typically of eight marginal long dark arms, and four central frilly oral arms.
Small specimens < 120 mm (4.7 in) are pink with dark red tentacles.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:The adult purple-striped jellies are silvery white with deep-purple bands.The bell (body) of the jellyfish is up to one meter (3 ft) in diameter.

DIET: Zooplankton, including copepods, larval fish, ctenophores, salps, other jellies, fish eggs

REPRODUCTION: Jellies reproduce sexually and asexually.
In the adult, or medusa, jellyfish can reproduce sexually by releasing sperm and eggs into the water, forming a planula. In this larval stage of jellyfish life, which attaches to the bottom of a smooth rock or other structure and grows into another stage. The polyp resembles a miniature sea anemone. During this stage, which can last for several months or years, asexual reproduction occurs. The polyps clone themselves and budhat grows into the adult medusa jellyfish.

PREDATORS: Sunfish, sea turtles. Since divers have seen ocean sunfish eating these jellies, we know some fishes must be immune to the sting.

REMARKS: Young cancer crabs are often found clinging to this jelly, even inside the gut. The crab helps the jelly by eating the parasitic amphipods that feed on and damage the jelly.

The Purple-striped Jellies have a strong sting but isn’t fatal.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Animal Attractions 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/42992188441/in/album-72157629304397467/

Monterey Bay Aquarium .org
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/purple-striped-jelly

Scripps Institute of Oceanography scripps.ucsd.edu/zooplanktonguide/species/chrysaora-colorata

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Labridae (Wrasses)

Genus/species: Halichoeres chrysus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is elongated and canary yellow in color, with distinctive light-green bands on the head. Males have a single white-rimmed
black spot on dorsal fin; females have two black, light yellow-rimmed spots.

Length up to 12 cm (4.75 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: East Indo-Pacific: Christmas Island to Marshall Islands; north to Japan, south to Australia. Found on sand and rubble edges of reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: The Yellow Wrasse is a carnivore; small worms, snails, crustaceans;
also may eat parasites off of other fishes.

REPRODUCTION: H. chrysus is a protogynous hermaphrodite They start life as females with the capability of turning male later. Distinct pairing during breeding has been noted.

CONSERVATION: IUCN

REMARKS: Most species of wrasse are elongated and relatively slender with pointed snouts. Characteristic features of the wrasses include thick lips, smooth scales, long dorsal and anal fins, and large, often protruding canine teeth in the front of the jaw.

Other common characteristics include their form of propulsion, which depends mostly on the winglike motion of the pectoral fins with only an occasional burst of speed provided by the caudal fin.

References
California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2016
Vetted J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3380012747/in/album-72157659465376212/

fishbase. http://fishbase.org/summary/Halichoeres-chrysus.html

EOL  http://eol.org/pages/212334/details

ADW  http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Halichoeres_chrysus/classification/

 

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: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets)

Sea basses have an elongated body has small scales, with a large mouth, and the tail is generally straight-edged or rounded. The dorsal fin, a diagnostic feature, consists of a forward, spiny section and a hinder, soft-rayed section; the two portions are usually joined but may be separated by a notch.

Genus/species: Paralabrax clathratus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:Pale blotches on back. Brown to olive above and cream below with pale spots along sides.

Length up to 72 cm (28.5in) and 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Eastern Pacific coast from southern Washington to southern Baja California. Most often found near or in kelp beds or structures of any kind; shallow water usually from about 2.5 (8 ft) to 20 m (65 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Juveniles: plankton and small invertebrates, especially crustaceans. Adults: small fishes, octopuses, squid, crabs, shrimps, and algae. Known to form groups to prey on schooling fishes.

REPRODUCTION: Spawn in groups in deep water. Pelagic eggs hatch into larvae, which metamorph into juveniles after approximately a month. The juveniles settle among blades of kelp

MORTALITY/LONGEVITY: Life span: to at least 33 years.

PREDATION: California barracuda, Giant Sea bass

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST LEAST CONCERN

REMARKS: The kelp bass is a fine food fish, and among the most important recreational game fishes in southern California.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Southern California exhibit, 2017

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Paralabrax_clathratus/

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 200

More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast, Milton Love 1996 Page 230-233

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/38994241111/in/album-72157633391356187/

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Kyphosidae (Sea chubs) All similar families recognized by combination of ovate body, small mouth, strong caudal fin

Genus/species: Girella nigricans

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body has an ovally rounded football-shaped profile. Color is olive-green, frequently shaded with blue or gray; often the snout has a white-colored area. It can display a silvery-white spotted pattern over the entire body; one to three whitespots on back. Bright blue to blue-green eyes. They often have a white bar across the snout.

Length up to 26 inches weight up to 13 1/2 pounds (most caught off piers are under 16 inches)

Opaleye Perch 8394553449_878b685a3b_b

DISTRIBUTION?HABITAT: Oregon to southern Baja California intertidal species with strong homing behavior. Can leave tide pools if aquatic conditions become inhospitable. Also found near or over rocky reefs and in kelp beds up to about 30 m (100 ft) depth..

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivore feeding diurnally, mainly on seaweeds;
occasionally take invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous

Opaleye Perch 4566438661_569907b825_b

 

PREDATORS: A popular sport fish, also a mild, good-eating fish, sold commercially as “perch.”

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Southern California Kelp Forest 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8394553449/in/album-72157633391356187/

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Girella-nigricans.html

Pacific Coast Fishes Eschmeyer, Herald and Hammann page 223

More Than You Want To Know About The Fishes of the Pacific Coast Milton Love 1996 Page 255

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

 

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

Genus/species; Hyperprosopon argenteum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Thin-bodied, football-shaped profile with large eyes (about 1/3 of head length). Silver, often with bluish or greenish tints; may display dusky bars and black edges on caudal and anal fins. The caudal (tail) fin is forked. Dorsal fins are continuous, not notched and the pelvic fins have black tips.

Length to 30 cm (12 inches).

WalleyedSurfperch4330632348_5a0a951c76_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. argenteum are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada to central Baja California, Mexico. They are located in the surf on sand beaches and over sand near rocks, to 18 m (60 ft) often in dense rapidly swimming schools.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crustaceans

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization is internal. Viviparous; bear 5–12 young; newborns about 3.8 cm (1.5 in) long

LONGEVITY: Up to 6 years

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated

REMARKS: Walleye Surfperch are important commercial and sport fish.

References

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

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

PacificCoast Fishes Eschmeyer and Herald, Easton Press 1983, page 230

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/36360564855/in/album-72157608359804936/

CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife  www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sfmp/surfperch-id.asp

eol  eol.org/pages/207481/details

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/3631

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Embiotocidae (Surfperches)

Genus/species: Embiotoca lateralis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Striped Surfperch is reddish orange with brilliant neon blue stripes and iridescent blue streaks and spots on head and gill cover. Fins are coppery; dark areas on anterior part of rayed dorsal, base of caudal fin, anterior part of anal, and distal halves of pelvic fins.

Length up to 38 cm (15 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical. Wrangell, Alaska to northern Baja California, Mexico along rocky coasts and kelp forests, estuarine eelgrass beds, occasionally in sandy surf near rocks.

Depth to 21 m (65 ft).  

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds only during the day on amphipods (crustacea, shrimp-like in form), shrimps, crabs, worms, other small benthic invertebrates, fish eggs and larvae.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization internal. Viviparous. Mature at 2–3 years (~25cm). Females produce 11–92 young per litter.

LONGEVITY: Up to 10 years.

PREDATORS: E. lateralis is preyed upon by rockfish, fished commercially, also by sportfishers and speared by divers.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Primarily uses pectoral fins to swim followed by the caudal fine if increased speed ids needed..

References

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3236211065/in/set-72157608348783942/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Coastal Reef 2017

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/3629

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-Cg

 eol eol.org/pages/207198/details

 

 

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

Genus/species: Hypsurus caryi

 GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compressed and oval to oblong-shaped bodies. Orange and blue horizontal stripes on body; larger orangish bars on back. Fins tinged with orange with black blotch on continuous soft dorsal and anal fins. The caudal (tail) fin is forked. 

Length up to: 30 cm (12 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical. Cape Mendocino to northern Baja California along rocky shores, often at the edges of kelp beds; occasionally over sand but not found in the surf zone.

DIET IN THE WILD: Rainbow Surfperch feed on isopods, amphipods and other crustaceans; also snails and brittle stars.

REPRODUCTION: H. caryi males approach the female from below; both swim with vents close for 2 or 3 seconds, then separate and repeat the process. As with all surfperches fertilization is internal and they are viviparous (livebearers) giving birth to as many as 22 young which are fully-formed (5 cm) at birth miniature versions of the adults.

 CONSERVATION: IUCN: Not evaluated.

 REMARKS: Divers in Monterey Bay report Rainbow Surfperch cleaning ocean sunfish (Mola mola).

 References

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/36159456555/in/album-72157608359804936/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Coast 2017

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlifewww.dfg.ca.gov/marine/sfmp/surfperch-id.asp

 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3633

 eol eol.org/pages/995097/overview

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes)

Genus/species: Acanthurus triostegus

Convict surgeonfish 8156826256_a90f659c94_o

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Convict Tang is a very common surgeonfish.  It is oval in profile and laterally compressed, gray with 4 vertical stripes (1 stripe on head across the yellow eye; 1 on caudal peduncle). The erectile spine on each side of caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove.  This scalpel like spine causes a nasty cut if the fish is treated roughly by a predator or a human. 

Common length : 17.0 cm (6.7 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  A. triostegus is found in lagoons and seaward reefs in areas of hard substrates from sea level to 90 m (300 feet) in the Indo-Pacific.

Typically occurs in shallows to 5 m (16 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: It is a herbivore which uses its serrated teeth along creating saw-like motion to remove filamentous algae from the substrate.

ConvictTang8358632069_43f1bc0004_k

REPRODUCTION: The Convict Tang spawns at dusk with females broadcasting eggs into open water where the males fertilize them.  Larvae drift ~75 days. Post-larvae settle in intertidal areas of benches and reef flats.

PREDATORS: Eggs and sperm are preyed upon by eagle rays, which are often present during spawning.

CONSERVATION: IUCN, Least concern.

REMARKS: This black-barred fish’s common name presumably alludes to the coloration of many prison uniforms of the previous century.

 

References

Ron’s Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3185789781/in/set-72157608332652056/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/1260

Aquarium of the Pacific www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/species/co…

Monterey Bay Aquarium www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/AnimalDetails.aspx?en…

EOL eol.org/pages/203984/overview

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

 

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