Tag Archive: PR04

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

Genus/species   Zebrasoma scopas

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Zebrasoma spp. is a small genus of tangs characterized by round, laterally compressed bodies, large dorsal sail-like fins, and pointed snouts. Because of their snouts, they are able to eat filamentous algae that grow in spots other fishes cannot reach, a talent that also makes them popular in aquariums large and small. Males and females are similar. Color can be variable; most often are shades of gray and brown with a greenish tinge running along the dorsal spine.

A distinguishing feature of surgeonfishes, tangs, and unicornfishes is a modified scale on the caudal peduncle, which forms a scalpel-like sharp blade often covered with toxic slime. These spines are used for species recognition, defense, and competition for mates. They are white in the Brown Scopes Tang. Note: Acanthus means “thorn” or “spine”. Length to 20 cm (8 in)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific from Africa to Japan in lagoons and outer reefs to 50 m (150 ft). Particularly well suited to large aquaria where they can roam.

Brown Scopas Tang

DIET IN THE WILD: Z. scopas graze on algae, usually in groups of 20 individuals. Its numerous, small pharyngeal teeth may have evolved in response to a shift in diet from macroalgae to filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: Group and pair spawning have been observed scattering eggs and sperm into the water column.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Zebrasoma spp. are known to irritate some stony corals to induce the release of zooxanthellae, evidently a sailfin delicacy. 


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

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

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Zebrasoma-scopas.html

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/178005/0

EOL eol.org/pages/204517/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4770058557/in/set-72157625992053826/

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Zebrasoma-scopas.html


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

Genus/species: Halichoeres prosopeion

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults green-blue in front fading to light yellow behind. A dark spot behind the eye; dorsal fin with large black spot near the front. Unlike most wrasses, no obvious differences between sexes.

Length up to 13 cm (5 inches).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Pacific; east to Indonesia and Sumatra, north to southern Japan, south to Great Barrier Reef. Habitat: Lagoons and seaward reefs. Depth range 2 – 40 m (6.5 -130 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crabs, shrimps, worms, and other benthic invertebrate.


REMARKS: Like many wrasses, it quickly buries itself in sand when threatened or alarmed.



California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef 2016
Vetted J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium

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 fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/Halichoeres-prosopeion.html

 EOL eol.org/pages/211449/details


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

Genus/species: Halichoeres chloropterus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Juveniles lime green; females pale green above and white below, with a thin dark line on the base of the pectoral fin. Terminal males head of male with intricate reticulate pattern of bands that varies from one individual to another; small blackish spot on anus.

Length up to 19 cm (7.5 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: West Central Pacific: Philippines to the Great Barrier Reef. Found in shallow protected coral reef on silt, sand and rubble bottom. Depth to 10 meters (33 feet)

Pastel-green wrasse4391731072_b36a014eca_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Hard-shelled prey, including mollusks, crustaceans, and sea urchins.



California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef 201

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fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/Halichoeres-chloropterus.html

EOL eol.org/pages/223761/details



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

Genus/species: Gomphosus varius

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Wrasses vary greatly in size and body shape. All have terminal mouths, prominent canines, thick lips, and a single continuous dorsal fin.

The Bird Wrasse common name refers to the fish’s long snout, which is said to resemble a bird’s beak. This species, like many wrasses, changes appearance as it matures. During the juvenile phase it is green above and white below. The snout is short. In the next phase, called the initial phase, most or all are females, and they are white with a black spot on each scale. The top of the snout is orange, and the caudal fin is black with a white border. 

During the terminal phase, a dominant male becomes blue-green. The caudal fin has a bright blue crest.

Length of males up to 30 cm (12 inches) Females to about 20 cm (8 inches)

Initial Phase below

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific: East Africa to Hawaiian Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia. Found in lagoons and seaward reefs at depths 2–30 m (6-100 ft.).

DIET IN THE WILD: Unlike parrotfishes which scrape algae from rocks with fused beaks, most wrasses feed on hard-shelled invertebrates such as crabs, brittle stars and shrimps  They use scissored motions with protruding canines and crush with powerful pharyngeal teeth. 

REPRODUCTION: Anthias and most wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites meaning they are born female but if a dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will often change into a male to take its place. On the other hand, clown anemonefish are protandrous hermaphrodites. This means that they mature as males and the largest one will change into a female when the resident female dies.

REMARKS: Like other wrasses, the bird wrasse can be recognized by its characteristic swimming pattern: the pectoral fins move up and down in a “flying” motion”.

Terminal phase below


California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3751456858/in/album-72157625992053826/

Australian Museum http://australianmuseum.net.au/Birdnose-Wrasse-Gomphosus-varius

EOL  http://eol.org/pages/224889/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-K8

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

Genus/species: Chromis viridis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are iridescent apple-green and light blue. Courting males develop blackish dorsal rays and upper pectoral rays. Caudal fin deeply forked with very long, trailing tips.

Length up to 9 cm (3.5inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific.among reef flats, shallow lagoons, sheltered seaward reefs to 12 m (39 ft). Huge aggregations above branching corals, often well above the bottom. Swarms of juveniles occur above smaller isolated coral heads.


REPRODUCTION: Oviparous, with distinct pairing during breeding. Elliptical demersal eggs are guarded by the male.

PREDATORS: In sunlight C. viridis blends with the blue of the water. In UV light it glows allowing individuals to see each other but remain invisible to most predators.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium  Philippine Coral Reef and Defenses Cluster 2016

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

Genus/species: Acanthurus blochii



A. Bluish grey with numerous yellowish brown spots which tend to form irregular longitudinal lines.

B. Head with narrow irregular stripes

C. Behind eye a yellow spot

D. Brown pectoral fins

E. Base of caudal fin with white bar

F.  Caudal spine large.

Differs from A. dussumieri by having vertical stripes instead of spots on the blue central area of the caudal fin, from A. mata by having a lunate caudal fin, and from A. xanthopterus by having plain brown to blue-grey pectoral fins.

The white ring around the base of the tail varies in intensity and may occasionally be absent. 

Max size: up to 45 cm (18 in)

Ringtail Surgeonfish 4441603380_717ef654b8_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands, south to Australia in lagoons and shallow coral reefs.

Depth 2–15 m (6-50 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Graze on algae, diatoms and detritus

CONSERVATION; IUCN Red List Least Concern


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3320764840/in/set-72157625992053826

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fishbase www.fishbase.se/summary/4750

Encyclopedia of life eol.org/pages/211484/details

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/177971/0



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

Genus/species: Apogon cyanosoma


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS : Silver body highlighted with 6 orange-gold horizontal stripes including a short post ocular stripe.. Pinkish to orange spot on base of caudal fin. Max. length: 8 cm.

YellowstripedCardinalfishApogon cyanosoma, PR24

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-west Pacific. Common from Australia to the Red Sea Inhabiting sheltered clear water areas of lagoon and seaward reefs. Associates in small to large aggregations under ledges, in holes, or even among long spines of sea urchins.

DIET IN THE WILD: Planktonic crustaceans and small invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION: Like all cardinalfishes, a paternal mouthbrooder.


REMARKS: Like all cardinalfishes, active at night, with large eyes adapted to gathering low light.



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

Genus/species: Ostorhinchus aureus (Apogon aureus)

Ring-Tail Cardinalfish Ostorhinchus aureus13924803567_e8eb47a0af_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Coppery with iridescence, paler posteriorly; a blackish stripe, bordered by a blue line, running from front of snout through eye and beyond; a narrow blue streak on maxilla. Black bar encircling caudal peduncle present in both young and adult phases.Length 4.4-14.7 cm (1.75-5.8 inches).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indo-West Pacific. Inhabits holes in rocks or under ledges in shallow waters. Depth range 1 – 40 m (3.2 to 130 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Benth crustaceans, zoobenthos, mobile invertebrates and small fishes.

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization, mouthbrooders.

CONSERVATION: IUCN; not evaluated.


eol eol.org/pages/224893/details

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

 Ostorhinchus sealei  (Apogon sealei) 


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Length 80mm, (3.15 inches). Pale yellow with a  pair of thin brown stripes on the upper side and a dark spot on mid tail base. Two short orange bars in bluish white patch on gill cover.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Malaysia to the Solomon Islands, north to the Philippines, Palau, and south to Ashmore Reef, Australia. Usually found on coastal fringing reefs or patch reefs to a depth of 25 m (80 feet). It is often found in pairs or in groups among branching corals such as Acropora. 

DIET IN THE WILD: Individuals shelter in amongst the coral during the day and come out to feed at night on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: This species demonstrates distinct pairing during courtship. The males mouthbrood the fertilized eggs until hatching is ready to occur.

LOCATION:  Philippine Coral Reef


fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/6230

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Cardinalfish general information.  

Found in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans, cardinalfishes are primarily marine, though some are found in brackish waters and a few in freshwater streams. Many species inhabit reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs to 60 feet (18 m).
The family is characterized by two widely separated dorsal fins, large eyes, short snouts, double-edged preopercula and a moderately large oblique mouth. The name derives from the red coloration of some well-known species, though many are drab or striped.
Most remain hidden during the day, and then disperse over the reef at night to feed on zooplankton and small benthic invertebrates, always remaining close to the substrate. Males of many species are mouth brooders.

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Microdesmidae (Wormfishes)

Genus/species: Ptereleotris zebra

Zebra Gobie2985357026_450274646b_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Elongated and compressed body with a Yellowish to greenish gray color and a series of narrow orange to pinkish bars edged with blue or purple along the sides A broad blue-edged dark reddish to purple area is below the eye. A chin barbel is
followed by a median longitudinal fold. Max length: 4.7 inches.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and islands in the western Indian Ocean to the Line and Marquesan Islands, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef. Found over exposed seaward reefs in relatively shallow water. Depth range 2 – 31 m (6-100 feet).

DIET: Zooplankton. Small schools hover several feet above the substrate capturing morsels the current carries to them.

CONSERVATION: Not evaluated

REMARKS: The common name of the genus is “dartfish,” derived from the group’s habit of darting between rocks or into rubble when frightened.

Philippine Coral Reef PR04


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