Tag Archive: tropical marine

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actiniidae (the largest family of sea anemones)

Genus/species: Entacmaea quadricolor

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Bubbletip Sea Anemone has an adherent base which attaches to the shape of the substratum. At the top of the column is a flattened oral disc with an oval mouth in the middle. The oral disc and column are smooth and brown, green, or occasionally a fluorescent reddish-orange. Tentacles are up to 10 cm (4 inches) length, often but not always inflated and balloonlike at the tips. 

Length up to 40 cm (16 inches)

Bubble tip anemone5389669474_fb02a667dc_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific, usually in deep crevices with only the tentacles visible.

Bubble tip anemone16122486362_7ee3a9b81d_o

DIET IN THE WILD: E. quadricolor obtains the majority of its energy from solar radiation via its symbiotic zooxanthellae.
Thet are also opportunistic carnivores that capture prey using cnidocytes on their tentacles which contain many “stinging organs” known as nematocysts (or cnidae).

REPRODUCTION: Bubbletip Sea Anemones are broadcast spawners releasing gametes directly into water.

The most common means of asexual reproduction for these anemones is called longitudinal fission, which amounts to them splitting down the middle to make two anemones from one. When it reproduces it will begin to pinch in at two points opposite each other on their base. Then the indentions will draw closer until it splits in two.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: They are symbiotic with many species of anemonefishes, such as the common clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

E. quadricolor has obligate photosynthetic zooxanthellae, brown algae, which live inside the anemone acting as a carbon and nitrogen source.

This anemone also exhibits biofluorescence.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA16

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The University of Queensland


SeaLifebase www.sealifebase.org/summary/Entacmaea-quadricolor.html



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scaridae

Genus/species: Scarus quoyi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Parrotfishes are wrasse-shaped but more heavy-bodied. The main difference is the structure of their mouth. Wrasses have individual teeth, but parrot fish teeth are actually fused together, forming a beak. 

Mature males are blue-green with pinkish scale margins. The operculum is orange dorsally and violet ventrally. There is a patch of blue-green on the cheek and across the snout. – female Greenblotch Parrotfish are pale grey-brown with five or six faint white bars on the body.

Length up to 28 cm.

Quoy’s Parrotfish20793038334_af78ec0ed9_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from the Maldives to Vanuatu, extending northwards to Ryukyu Islands, Japan and southwards to New Caledonia inhabiting coral-rich areas of outer channels and seaward reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD:  Herbivorous, feeds on algae from rocky substrates.

REPRODUCTION: Parrotfishes are pelagic spawners. They release buoyant eggs which become part of the plankton floating freely, eventually settling into the coral until hatching.


REMARKS: A recent study has discovered that the parrotfish is extremely important for the health of the Great Barrier Reef. It is the only one of thousands of reef fish species that regularly performs the task of scraping and cleaning inshore coral reefs.

Note: S. quoyi does not feed on coral algae thus does not destroy coral , which is why it can be present in the Philippine coral reef exhibit exhibit. (Charles Delbeek M.Sc. Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium California Academy of Sciences)


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016 (Vetted, Charles Delbeek Academy assistant curator)

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Australian Museum  australianmuseum.net.au/greenblotch-parrotfish-scarus-quoyi

Australian Geographic http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2014/09/single-keystone-species-may-be-key-to-reef-health

Encyclopedia of Life:  eol.org/California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016pages/1012771/details

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=5554&g…

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family:  Haemulidae (Grunts) bottom-feeding predators, named for their ability to produce sound by grinding their teeth.

Genus/species  Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides  

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Juveniles brown with large white blotches. Becomes more spotted with age, reversing from white to black spotted in the process. Deeper bodies compared to most others in the genus

Length is up to 72 cm (29 inches) and weight to 7,000 g (15.5 pounds)

Spotted Sweetlips IMG_0501

 DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT Indo-West Pacific oceans. Inhabits coral-rich areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs. 1 – 30 m (3-90 ft).


DIET IN THE WILD: Carnivore. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, and fishes at night.



California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef 2016

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fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Plectorhinchus-chaetodonoides.html

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and Spinefoots)

Genus/species: Siganus corallinus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Color is yellow with numerous small blue spots on the head and body and a dark triangular area above and behind the eye.  Like all rabbitfishes, they have small, rabbit-like mouths, large dark eyes, and a shy temperament, thus their common name.

Length up to 30 cm (12 in)

Blue-Spotted Spinefoot Siganus corallinus (tetrazonus)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific among corals of lagoon and protected reefs at 3–30 m (10-100 ft).


DIET IN THE WILD: Benthic algae.

IUCN RED LIST Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Rabbitfishes have fin spines with venom glands that can inflict painful, though not life-threatening wounds; aquarists should take care as the genus is easily frightened and readily takes defensive action.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

fishbase:  www.fishbase.se/summary/4611

Australian Museum  australianmuseum.net.au/coral-rabbitfish-siganus-corallinus

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339530941/with/3222318704/

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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)


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).


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.


REMARKS: Caught commercially, primarily as tuna bait fish


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

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

Genus/species: Premnas biaculeatus

Female below

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Juveniles orange-colored; color deepens with age. Male smaller, bright red with three brilliant white bars, sometimes barely visible. Female becomes maroon or almost black with subdued bars. Note the conspicuous spine on cheek below the eye.

 Length to 17 cm (6.75 inches). 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific: Indo-Australian Archipelago including India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,Philippines, New Guinea New Britain, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and northern Queensland, Australia.  Premnas biaculeatus is found in lagoons and seaward reefs, 1–16 m (3.25-52.5 ft) exclusively with the sea anemone Entacmaea quadricolor. They are usually in pairs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooplankton and algae.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous. Males and females guard and aerate the eggs. Protandrous hermaphrodite, In the case of the death of the female, the second largest changes from male to female. Size difference is maintained in order to avoid subordinates becoming a threat to the highest ranking male.; female is to about 2–3 times the size of her male partner.

LIFESPAN: 6 to 10 years in the wild.



REMARKS: P. biaculeatus has a mutualist relationship with Entacmaea quadricolor. The anemone benefits from having spinecheek anemonefish protect them from butterflyfishes, which feed on their tentacles. P. biaculeatus also clean away debris and parasites from the anemone. Spinecheek anemonefish are protected from most fish by the venomous anemones tentacles which do not injure the anemone fish.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Premnas-biaculeatus.html

eol  http://eol.org/pages/211316/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339622313/with/3342653723/

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

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Nemipteridae (Threadfin breams, Whiptail breams)

Genus/species: Pentapodus emeryii

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Violet blue with two electric yellow horizontal stripes. They have a long, slender body and are sometimes known as Banana fish or the Banana Snapper.

 Length: 30.0 cm (12 inches)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific. Found in Lagoons and coastal reefs greater than 20m (65 feet). 

DIET IN THE WILD: Small fishes, crustaceans, ophiuroids and sipunculid worms.





California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine coral reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6179759332/in/album-72157625992053826/

Encyclopedia of Life: eol.org/pages/205344/details

IUCN  www.iucnredlist.org/details/155300/0

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1g1

fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Pentapodus-emeryii.html


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

Genus/species: Bodianus anthioides

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Brown head and forebody with a long pig-like snout, white rear body with scattered brown spots and a deeply forked tail.

Max length: 24.0 cm (9.5 in)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Indian Ocean inhabiting seaward reefs at depths of 20–60 m (65- 200 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: The Lyretail Hogfish is a benthic (bottom) feeder of invertebrates and small crustaceans.

REPRODUCTION: They are oviparous with distinct pairing during breeding.


CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Hogfish definition: Any of various wrasses of the genus Bodianus. Also described as possessing a very elongated snout which it uses to search for crustaceans buried in the sediment. Interestingly it is from this very long “pig-like” snout and its rooting behavior that the hogfish gets its name.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine coral reef 2016

Reef Fish Identification of the Tropical Pacific, Allen et al. Odyssey Pub. 2003 p.230

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/albums/72157625992053826/

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?genusname=Bod...

EOL eol.org/pages/216945/details

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/187715/0

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-1FE



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

Genus/species: Naso lituratus


Photo above Male


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Orange Spine Unicornfish is a hornless unicornfish. Coloration varies among populations. A prominent vertical black stripe from eyes to mouth is present on its face. The continuous unnotched dorsal fin is black with with a pale blue line at base and a broad outer white zone. The anal fin is orange.  The bright orange caudal peduncule has two forward-directed venomous knife-like keeled bony plates.   The caudal fin is emarginate (slight inward curve) with adult males having trailing filaments from each corner.

Length to 46 cm (18 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific over coral, rock or rubble of lagoon and seaward reefs from the lower surge zone to 90 m (300 ft). Introduced Florida and Georgia.

DIET IN THE WILD: Primarily leafy brown algae especially Sargassum spp.

REPRODUCTION: Fertilization is external with open water pair spawning. Nonguarders



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Rons flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/2979734770/in/set 72157608332652056

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

fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/summary/1264

USGS  http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=2553

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/177950/0


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

Genus/Species: Naso vlamingii

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Bignose Unicornfish has a convexly rounded prominent snout and extremely tall dorsal and anal fins. A broad blue band extends from eye to front of rostral protuberance. The body is gray, ovate and compressed with blue vertical lines which break up into small blue spots dorsally and ventrally. The tips of the tail fin are unusually long.

Length to 60 cm (23 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific in deep lagoons and seaward reefs from 4–50 m (12-150 ft) off steep slopes.

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivorous, feeds on zooplankton.

REPRODUCTION: External fertilization. Egg scatterers, non-guarding. Remarks: Courting males are able to instantaneously turn iridescent blue.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/6024

EOL eol.org/pages/213847/hierarchy_entries/44696490/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608332652056/with/3120136472/

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

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