Tag Archive: toxic

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Sepiida
Family:i Sepiidae

Genus/species: Metasepia pfefferi

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The normal base color of this species is dark brown. Individuals that are disturbed or attacked quickly change colour to a pattern of black, dark
brown, and white, with yellow patches around the mantle, arms, and eyes. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators. The mantle and head are covered with flap-like, fleshy protuberances (papillae),and a V-shaped fleshy ridge runs along the underside. Yellow fins flutter along the sides to propel the animal slowly though the water or along the substrate.

Max mantle length: 6–8 cm (2.5-3.14 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Flamboyant Cuttlefish is found from Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to Australia. Found in shallow, low-energy tropical marine waters (3 to 85 m) with mud, sand, or coral rubble

DIET IN THE WILD: M. pfefferi are active diurnal foragers on a variety of foods, especially fish and crustaceans, including “hard-hitting” mantis shrimp. Encircling the mouth are 8 purplish, blade-like arms with rows of suckers used to manipulate prey and 2 flattened, retractable tentacles which can be rapidly extended to catch prey.

LIFE SPAN. 18 and 24 months

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Data Deficient   <a href=”http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0″ rel=”nofollow”>www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0</a>. 2012

REMARKS: One researcher recently claimed M. pfefferi to be the only cuttlefish known to be toxic, asserting that muscle tissue of this species possesses a toxin as deadly as that of its cephalopod relative, the blue-ringed octopus!

They also can produce ink as a defense.

Animals displaying this color pattern have been observed using their lower arms to walk or “amble” along the sea floor while rhythmically waving the wide protective membranes on their arms. It has been suggested that this behavior advertises a poisonous or distasteful nature.

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

One of the most well known features of cuttles is the cuttle bone, which is often used by pet owners to provide calcium for caged birds. Cuttlefish use this multi chambered internal calcified ‘shell’ to change buoyancy by quickly filling or emptying the chambers with gas. Interestingly, while the cuttle bone of most cuttles is as long as the animal’s mantle, the diamond shaped cuttlebone of the Flamboyant is disproportionately small, thin, and only 2/3 to ¾ of the mantle length. The small size of the cuttlebone may make swimming difficult and may accounts for the Flamboyants preference to ‘walk’ along the bottom.

References: California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef  Richard Ross

Advanced Aquarist Volume IX › October 2010 › Aquarium Invertebrates: Metasepia pfefferi – the aptly named Flamboyant Cuttlefish. www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/10/inverts.      Great overview

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Metasepia_pfefferi/

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6179762044/in/album-72157659465376212/


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Salamandridae

Genus/species: Taricha torosa

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: It has a warty brown dorsal side and a yellow-orange ventral side. In outward appearance, Eyes extend beyond the profile of the head.

Taricha torosa22363814856_37c18ac5bf_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: West coast of the United States, mainly in California, extending from Humbolt County to San Diego. They prefer grassy regions but are most visible from December to May when they migrate back to their breeding ponds.

DIET: Slugs, worms, many insects, and other amphibians.

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization. The female lays egg masses of 7-30 eggs that are protected by a toxic membrane containing the same tetrodotoxin found in adults. Within 3 months, most of the larvae metamorphose into juveniles of about 2 inches (~5 cm) or slightly longer.


LONGEVITY: 12-15 years in the wild.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern.

Some populations of T. torosa are threatened due to habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native predators such as mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) and crayfish. In the state of California sections of roads have been closed during the rainy season in order to protect the migrating newts.

REMARKS: These newts have relatively few predators other than man due to their highly potent tetrodotoxin. The main natural native predator is the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). It is interesting to note that some garter snakes have developed a genetic resistance to tetrodotoxin.


California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015

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IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/59471/0

amphibiaweb  amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query?where-genus=Taricha&…

Caudata Culture www.caudata.org/cc/species/Taricha/T_torosa.shtml

NIH  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726340/




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

Genus/species: Synchiropus splendidus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body depressed, small head. Ground color green (rare individuals red). Body covered with dark blue blotches ringed with dark outlines. Pectoral fins, face yellow.
Length to 6 cm (2.36 in).

Synchiropus splendidus15148891995_e1b96e57d4_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Western Pacific in shallow protected lagoons and inshore coral reefs with silty substrates 1 to 18 m
(3.28 to 59 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Small crustaceans such as amphipods and isopods, small worms and protozoans.

Green Mandarinfish aka Mandarin Dragonet3274882181_969702e800_b

REPRODUCTION: Polygynandrous (promiscuous). During spawning they are pelagic and are seen in the open ocean.

LIFESPAN: 10-15 years in the wild.


Color of Life: aposematic warning
S. splendidus have a vibrant display of colors. They secrete mucous that has an unpleasant smell with toxins and a bitter taste which is used as a repellent from predators.


California Academy of Sciences exhibit 2015

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/12644

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Synchiropus_splendidus/

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/15148891995/in/album-72157659465376212/

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


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