Tag Archive: Vulnerable


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Elopiformes (Tarpons and tenpounders)
Family: Megalopidae (Tarpons).

Genus/species: Megalops atlanticus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Tarpon has a large, elongated, moderately deep and compressed body. Sides and belly are silvery and back blue-gray. The caudal fin is deeply forked. They “roll” at the water surface taking in air into their lunglike swimbladder which is attached to the esophagus allowing it to fill directly with air permitting the fish to live in oxygen-poor waters.

Length up to 2.5 m (8 ft) and weight up to 160 kg (350 lbs)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Nova Scotia south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and the West coast of Africa. Though the majority of its life is spent in the open ocean, M. atlanticus tolerates fluctuating salinities and may be found in coastal waters, bays, estuaries, mangrove-lined lagoons, and rivers, such as the Amazon.

Some populations of M. atlanticus may complete their life cycle in freshwater lakes or as in the California Academy of Sciences flooded Amazon.

DIET IN THE WILD: They feed on sardines, anchovies, and other fishes as well as shrimp, crabs, and other crustaceans.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT:  Spawn offshore. High fecundity; a 2.3 m (7.5 ft) female is estimated to produce over 12 million eggs. Spawn in waters which can be temporarily isolated from the open sea. Larvae develop inshore and are leptocephalic in shape (flattened, transparent, and eel-like).

PREDATORS: Natural predators are sharks.

REPRODUCTION: They spawn offshore and exhibit high fecundity, a 2.3 m (7.5 ft) female is estimated to produce over 12 million eggs. They can also spawn in waters that are temporarily isolated from the open sea. Larvae develop inshore and are leptocephalic in shape (flattened, transparent, and eel-like). Life span: at least 55 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Vulnerable

REMARKS: Tarpon are among the most “primitive” existent bony fish.

It is a popular game fish of sportfishers, due to its dynamic reaction once hooked. Since the flesh is of poor quality, they are usually released, though another source states, “The flesh is highly appreciated despite its being bony.” It is marketed fresh or salted.

Their large (up to 8 cm (3 in) diameter) silvery scales are fashioned into jewelry.

References

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-9e

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3458838683/in/set-72157620568438047/

“It’s Easy Being Green” Docent Course. California Academy of Sciences 2014 

 fishbase fishbase.org/summary/1079

 Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/339927/details

 

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

Genus/species: Neurergus kaiseri

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: N. kaiseri has a distinctive, spectacular coloration, with a long narrow yellow or orange-red dorsal stripe overlaying bleached white (spots or a continuous band) on a black background. The bottom is whitish or orange-red, and may have black markings.

Length up to 14 cm (5.5 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Native to the central Zagros Mountains of Iran in the Lorestan and Khuzestan provinces. N. kaiseri comes from a hot dry climate. They reproduce in winter during periods of rain, which are followed by long periods of hot dry weather in which the animals estivate. It is estimated that water is present in their habitat for 3 months of the year or less.

DIET in captivity: They are fed small earthworms (whole or chopped), lesser wax worms, large fruit flies, maggots, tropical woodlice, and crickets of appropriate size.
They are not picky eaters.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are deposited singly on rough surfaces on the underside of stones and also use vegetation.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Vulnerable. The population is considered to be severely fragmented as per IUCN guidelines given the habitat where it occurs and the relatively low vagility of the species. The species is illegally harvested for the national and international pet trade Its biggest threat. It is believed that less than 1000 adults exist in nature. N. kaiseri has become the first example of a species granted international protection due to e-commerce.

REMARKS: A captive breeding program is in place at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, which now has hundreds of surplus captive-bred N. kaiseri.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Water is life precious little water 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/25770028168/in/album-72157662092331262/

Amphibia web. amphibiaweb.org/cgi/amphib_query?query_src=aw_lists_gener…

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/59450/0

Caudata Culture. www.caudata.org/cc/species/Neurergus/N_kaiseri.shtml

 

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