Tag Archive: marine

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


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


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/



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.


Opaleye Perch 4566438661_569907b825_b


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


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


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).


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


REMARKS: Walleye Surfperch are important commercial and sport fish.


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


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.


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


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



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).


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


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.


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.



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


Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Chaenopsidae (Pike-, tube- and flagblennies)

Genus/Species Neoclinus uninotatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The color is usually light to dark brown with black specks and mottling. The jaw is large extending beyond the eye. There is one large ocellus (eye spot) between dorsal fin spines. A few carrier above the eye and one larger (longer than the eye diameter).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: N. uninotatus is found along the California coast from Bodega Bay to the Baja California. It is usually found in rock crevices as well as inside objects, including bottles, cans, and tires which it guards fiercely.
Depth 3-27 m (10-90 ft)
Length up to 25 cm (10 in)

DIET IN THE WILD: Benthic crustaceans

REPRODUCTION: Both sexes guard the eggs with the male circulating water over them.


REMARKS: The Sarcastic Fringhead is similar but has two ocelli on the dorsal fin.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Waterplanet 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32131392083/in/album-72157675574079744/

Pacific Coast Fishes of North America: Eschmeyer and Hearld, The Eaton Press,1983

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Neoclinus-uninotatus.html

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


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.


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/


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Callionymidae (Dragonets)

Genus/species: Synchiropus picturatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongate, moderately depressed, broad-headed. Pale brown to green, covered with large dark spots ringed with orange and green, turquoise band markings around eye.

Length up to 7 cm (2.75 inches)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northwest Australia, Indonesia and Philippines. Found in rubble patches and sandy bottoms near living corals of coastal reefs at depths of 2–20 m.

DIET IN THE WILD: Small benthic invertebrates, especially live zooplankton, such as copepods and amphipods.


IUCN RED LIST Not evaluated


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA13

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2985463647/in/album-72157659465376212/

Fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Synchiropus-picturatus.html

EOL eol.org/pages/339917/overview

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


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Zoantharia
Order: Actiniara (anemones)
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species: Urticina piscivora

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large to 20 cm (8 inches) high and 26 cm (10 inches) across. The column is red (without spots) with white. Tentacles are white, and the oral disc is creamy yellow. Normally they do not accumulate debris such as shells and sand.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Alaska to southern California. Found in low intertidal areas with rocky attachment sites and at least moderate current. Depth to about 50 m (160 feet)


DIET IN THE WILD: Invertebrates, shrimp and small fishes. U. piscivora have no zooxanthellae and depend wholly on capturing their food, a strategy aided by their exceptionally virulent nematocysts (stinging cells), which can cause long-lasting lesions on humans. Food items are usually swept into the central mouth by the tentacles where enzymes digest the food. Non digested items are expelled out through the mouth.


Genus/species: Urticina piscivora3702912695_1708579b2e_b 


REMARKS: One fish species, the painted greenling (Oxylebius pictus), has been observed lying unharmed in this anemone much as clownfish do in tropical anemones. 


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Coastal Marine Reef Exhibit

eol eol.org/pages/2549643/details

Walla Walla Universitywww.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/…

Georgia Aquariumanimalguide.georgiaaquarium.org/home/galleries/cold-water…

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3702912695/in/set-72157…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1l6

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