Tag Archive: venomous

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Sebastidae (Rockfishes, rockcods and thornyheads)

Genus/species: Sebastes pinniger

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Canary Rockfish is bright yellow to orange mottled on a light gray background with 3 orange stripes across head and orange fins. The Lateral line is in a clear area. The pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins are moderately pointed and are large.

Length up to 76 cm (2.5 ft)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are found from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico.
S. pinniger adults hover in loose groups above rocky bottoms at average depths of 80–200 m (264-660 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: They feed on small fishes and krill.

REPRODUCTION: they are mature at 14 in (36 cm) or 5-6 years old., Fertilization: Internal fertilization, ovoviviparous

LONGEVITY: Up to 75 years

Minimum population doubling time 4.5 – 14 years. Various state restrictions on fishing have been put in place over the years, including banning retention of canary rockfish in Washington in 2003. Because this species is slow-growing, late to mature, and long-lived, recovery from these threats will take many years, even if the threats are no longer affecting the species.

REMARKS: The Vermillion Rockfish which is similar is more reddish and the lateral one is not in the grey zone.


Ron’s flickr Rockfishes https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/7786389830/in/album-72157608359804936/

Ron’s flickr Canary Rockfish http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608359804936/with/7564182434/

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium California Rocky Reef 2017

PacificCoast Fishes Eschmeyer and Herald 1983 Easton Press page 146

fishbase www.fishbase.org/summary/3989

NOAA FISHERIES 2-3-17 www.fisheries.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/canary-rockfish.html

Ron’s WordPress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-Dm



Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actinodendronidae

Genus/species: Actinodendron plumosum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Hell’s Fire Anemone is poorly described. It looks more like a coral than and anemone. The color of  A. plumosum can be light yellowish-green, tan, brown, light green or gray. They have an oral disc that is drawn out into branched tentacles tipped with white swellings resembling globular spheres. Their tree like shape is unique in comparison to other anemones. Size: up to 12″ (30 cm).

Hell fire anemone31862717602_e9e55aaff4_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific on coral rich slopes and drop offs with coral gravel, or in shallow sandy and muddy areas. They bury their foot and body into the substrate and adhere their foot to hard surfaces underneath, having only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

REMARKS: The sting from these anemones can damage and even kill other corals and fish. They use their very powerful and venomous nematocyst found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks, as well as for capturing prey. In humans the stings can cause ulcers at the site which last for months.



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17  2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31862717602/in/album-72157659465376212/

EOL eol.org/pages/421192/details#habitat

Animal-World  animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Hells-Fire-Anemone

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink, http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8C

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/

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

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and Spinefoots)

Genus/species: Siganus virgatus

Barhead Spinefoot 4533131275_6ac3dc18ab_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Yellow above, white below with yellow dorsal and caudal fins; blue markings on head and back. The eyes are masked by a black stripe that extends from the bottom of the mouth to the top of the head, and a brown band running diagonally from nape to chin.

Length up to 11.8 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical west Pacific in shallow coastal waters, around hard coral reefs and areas of sand with patches of rock and soft coral. Tolerant of murky waters. Depth 1–15 m (3-45 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Feeds on benthic seaweeds

REPRODUCTION: Pelagic spawner

MORTALITY: Stout venomous spines discourage would-be predators.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List  Not evaluated

REMARKS : Fins and spines are venomous. Caution must be used when handling. Reactions can range from mild to severe
Named rabbitfish due to their voracious appetite.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4533131275/

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

EOL http://eol.org/pages/206659/details

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/4624

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes, similar noses)

Genus/species: Siganus punctatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is highly compressed with blue dark edged orange spots on the head and caudal fin. The eye has a silver iris. Adults are typically paired.  Like all rabbitfishes S. punctatus possess venomous spines.

Length: up to 40.0 cm (15 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Tropical Western Pacific. Found in clear lagoon and seaward reefs from 1–40 m (3,2-130 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Benthic algae/weeds

REPRODUCTION:  Fertilization is external; open water, substratum egg scatterers. Spawn in pairs.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venomous spines



California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

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

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

fishbase: www.fishbase.org/summary/4621

Australia Museum: australianmuseum.net.au/Spotted-Rabbitfish-Siganus-punctatus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes) 
Family: Siganidae (Rabbitfishes and spine-foots)

Genus/species: Siganus guttatus


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Siganus guttatus has a Head with lines and spots. It is silvery ventrally and dusky blue dorsally, with numerous orange-gold spots and a large yellow spot below rear base of dorsal fin. 

Length to 42 cm (16.5 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in East Indo-Pacific to 25 m (75 ft) in inner lagoons, turbid coastal reefs, mangroves and brackish waters. Typically in large groups of conspecifics.

DIET IN THE WILD: These fish are hearty eaters feeding primarily on algae and seagrasses, though are known to nip on large-polyp stony corals as well as soft corals.

REPRODUCTION: Spawners. Fry settles in seagrass beds around river mouths.


REMARKS: Highly esteemed as a food fish.
The spines of rabbitfishes (Siganidae) are venomous, and can inflict painful wounds.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608339530941/

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-GK

EOL eol.org/pages/2804181/hierarchy_entries/44731406/details

fishbase fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4588

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

Genus/species: Acanthurus lineatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Lined Surgeonfish has a compressed and disc-like body with a large venomous, scalpel-like caudal spine on each side of the caudal peduncle. The body is yellowish-green, with bright blue stripes edged with black most pronounced on the flank. The stripes on the belly are lavender blue to bluish-white on the belly. The pelvic fins are bright orange.
Length to 38 cm (15 in)

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus 8624034686_90d26c8326_o


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from East Africa north to southern Japan and south to New South Wales, Australia found on exposed outer reef areas at depths of 3-9 ft.

DIET IN THE WILD: Herbivorous, browses on algae but also feeds on crustaceans.

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus

REPRODUCTION: Large males patrol defined feeding areas and maintain harems of females. Migrates to and spawns in aggregations at specific sites, although they sometimes spawn in pairs. Spawning occurs year-round at lower latitudes but may be seasonal at higher latitudes. The eggs and larvae are pelagic.

MORTALITY: It is estimated that this species can live 30 to 45 years.

CONSERVATION: Least concern.

REMARKS: The venomous caudal spines are very effective defense mechanisms for surgeonfish. They are razor-sharp and useful weapons against attack. The lined surgeonfish was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3142856255/in/album-72157625992053826/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1b7

fishbase  http://www.fishbase.org/country/CountrySpeciesSummary.php?c_code=144&id=1258

EOL http://eol.org/pages/208629/details

Australia Museum    http://australianmuseum.net.au/Striped-Surgeonfish-Acanthurus-lineatus-Linnaeus-1758



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order: Myliobatiformes (Stingrays)
Family: Dasyatidae (Stingrays)

Genus/species: Taeniura lymma

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: large bright blue spots on a grey-brown to yellow, olive-green or reddish-brown oval, elongated disc with lateral blue side-stripes along the tail. The snout is rounded and angular. Disc diameter to 25 cm (9.8 inches).


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific around coral reefs and sandy bottoms to a debt of 20 meters (66 feet).

DIET IN THE WILD: Prey is often detected through electroreception, a system which senses the electrical fields produced by the prey. Within the mouth are two plates, which are used for crushing mollusks, worms, shrimps, and crabs.

Taeniura lymma9830767635_6774f7ae7d_k

REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous; the egg-shell is weakly formed and young hatch inside the female; they are nourished by their yolk sac and then ‘born’ live.

PREDATION: The hammerhead shark uses the cartilaginous projections form the side of their heads to pin them down to the bottom of the substrate while taking bites from the stingray’s disc. The hammerhead is able to avoid being stung by the poisonous spines on the rays tail by pinning the stingray down.


CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List: Near threatened

REMARKS: At the tip of the tail are two sharp venomous spines (can be regenerated) which permit this ray to strike at enemies forward of its head. Venom is produced and delivered into narrow groves running lengthwise along the underside of the stinger. The entire structure is covered by a thin layer of skin which, when broken, releases its venom into its victim.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Reef Lagoon 2016

fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Taeniura-lymma.html

Ron’s WordPress shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-16f

Ron’s flickr www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608440813109/

ARKive  www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18360786662/in/album-72…



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Myliobatiformes
Family: Dasyatidae (Whiptail Stingrays, whip-like tails, which are much longer than the disc)

Genus/species: Himantura uarnak


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Disc light brown above with conspicuous dark spots, white ventrally. Tail with bands of black and white, three times the body length. One tail spine. The dark spots are separated in the young ray; in the adult they become crowded together, forming the reticulated pattern from which it gets its name. Snout sharply pointed. Band of flat denticles down the back.
Width up to 2 m (6.5 ft), weigh up to 120 kg (265 lbs).

 Himantura uarnak 18366435141_1e263bfff2_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Subtropical, Indo-West Pacific, Red Sea, to southern Africa and French Polynesia, north to Taiwan, south to Australia.

Benthic, found in surf zone, sandy beaches, sandy areas of coral reefs, shallow estuaries and lagoons, down to 90 m (295 ft). It can tolerate brackish water and in India, has been found in the fresh water of Chilka Lake and the Hoogly River, a tributary of the Ganges River.


DIET IN THE WILD: Main foods: small fish, also bivalves crabs, shrimps, worms and jellies.

REPRODUCTION: Ovoviviparous. Embryos feeding initially on yolk, then receiving additional nourishment from the mother by indirect absorption of uterine fluid enriched with mucus, fat or protein through specialised structures


REMARKS: Although venomous, it is a popular angling fish due to its being a powerful fighter. It is not a food fish but is used in Chinese medicine.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list Vulnerable (VU)

REMARKS: Since their mouths are directed downward and often placed against the sand, stingrays use their spiracles rather than their mouths for water intake.

Stingrays have a spiral valve in their intestine that increases food absorption, and lack a swim bladder.

Although venomous, it is a popular angling fish due to its being a powerful fighter. It is not a food fish but is used in Chinese medicine.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Reef Lagoon 2016

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157627919810858/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-P8

fishbase  www.fishbase.us/summary/5507

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/161692/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1859/details

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: Caraboctonidae (hairy scorpions)

Genus/species: Hadrurus arizonensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black cephalothorax with pale yellow rimmed segments; pale yellow abdomen, pincer-like pedipalps, and legs; pale under-surface; and abundant erect dark brown sensory hairs. Largest of the nine scorpion species in North America. Length 10 to 18 cm (3.94 to 7.09 in)
Ave. weight 5 g (0.18 oz)

They molt 4 to 6 times before reaching adulthood in about 4 years.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Mexico, western Arizona, southern California and Nevada, southwestern Utah. Found in semi-arid and arid habitats. Dig and live in deep burrows in soil during summer.


DIET IN THE WILD: Although the venom of North American hairy scorpions is fairly week compared to most scorpions (about the same as a bee sting) these solitary predators immobilize and eat other scorpions, insects, spiders, small lizards and snakes. Forages at night for prey and mates.


REPRODUCTION: Scorpions reproduce sexually following an intricate mating behavior. Gestation lasts 6 to 12 months. Females give live birth to a large litter of 25 to 35 individuals. Occasionally, after mating, the female tracks down her mate and eats him.

LONGEVITY; Up to 25 years in captivity, ave, 7-10 in the wild.

PREDATORS: Owls and large lizards. When provoked they raise their legs and orienting themselves vertically, striking blindly at anything deemed threatening.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List, Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Venom in the scorpion’s stinger is used to subdue struggling prey and for self-defense. The venom is not very potent or painful to humans. Like all scorpions, has poor eyesight, excellent hearing, and a fine sense of touch (body hairs detect air and ground vibrations).

Color of Life note

Also like all scorpions, they fluoresce under ultraviolet light, a characteristic that allows scientists (and well-equipped backpackers) to detect them in the night and perhaps signals scorpions to avoid damaging UV light.

Ref. California Academy of Science Docent program 2015



Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4770063879/in/album-72157608653175263/

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

Animal diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hadrurus_arizonensis/

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/3195616/details

Getty Images www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/giant-desert-hairy-scorp…


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