Canthigaster papua is a Pufferfish from the Indo-West Pacific. It grows to a size of 10cm in length.
March 15, 2009
March 15, 2009
The blackspotted puffer or dog-faced puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, is a pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae, and can be found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. It reaches a maximum length of 33 cm.
It has a round shape with a head and snout which at times looks like a seal or a dog. It can come in a variety of colors, although most commonly blue. The distinctive identifying item are the black spots. It feeds on algae, corals, sponges, sea squirts, crustaceans and molluscs.
Like most puffers, blackspotted puffers are highly poisonous, making them dangerous or even deadly to eat.
March 15, 2009
The Map puffer, Arothron mappa, is a pufferfish of the genus Arothron, and can be found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. It reaches a maximum length of 65 cm.
It has an oval shape and the body is covered in small prickles. It is gray in color with black patterns, which could be considered map like in appearance, its identifying feature. It feeds on algae, corals, sponges, sea squirts, crustaceans and mollusks. Like most puffers, the map puffer is highly poisonous to eat. (text source: Wikipedia)
March 10, 2009
a pregnant male
The pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus bargibanti, is a seahorse of the family Syngnathidae in the western central Pacific. It is tiny, from few millimeters to 2.4 cm. There are two known color variations: grey with red tubercles (on gorgonian coral Muricella plectana), and yellow with orange tubercles (on gorgonian coral Muricella paraplectana).
This species is known to occur only on gorgonian corals of the genus Muricella, and has evolved to resemble its host. The tubercles and truncated snout of this species match the color and shape of the polyps of the host gorgonian, while its body matches the gorgonian stem. The camouflage is so effective, the original specimens were discovered only after their host gorgonian had been collected and placed in an aquarium.
The pygmy seahorse is found in coastal areas ranging from southern Japan and Indonesia to northern Australia and New Caledonia on reefs and slopes at a depth of 10-40 m.
Well-camouflaged pygmy seahorse on a gorgonian coral Muricella plectana. See this image to identify the pygmy seahorse. On the lower portion of the abdomen, males have a brood pouch in which the female lays her eggs. They are fertilized by the male, and incubated until birth. (text source: Wikipedia)
March 10, 2009
Denise’s pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus denise, is a species of fish in the Syngnathidae family. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Its natural habitat is coral reefs. The pygmy seahorse is undoubtedly one of the most well camouflaged species in the oceans, being very difficult to spot amongst the gorgonian coral it lives in. The camouflage is so effective that the species wasn’t actually discovered until its host gorgonian was being examined in a lab.
Large, bulbous tubercles cover this species’ body and match the color and shape of the polyps of its host species of gorgonian coral, while its body matches the gorgonian stem. Two color morphs exist – pale gray or purple individuals scattered with pink or red tubercles are found on the similarly colored gorgonian coral Muricella plectana, and yellow with orange tubercles are found on gorgonian coral Muricella paraplectana. It is not known whether individuals can change color if they change hosts.
The seahorses combine the unique characteristics of several different animal species such as the head of a Horse, using its tail,(grasping) like a monkey, it carries its young in a pouch like a Kangaroo, has a bony external skeleton like an insect and the independent eye movement of a Chameleon making this one of the most spectacular of any fish species. Other distinctive characteristics include a fleshy head and body, a very short snout, and a long, prehensile tail. This is also one of the smallest seahorse species in the world, typically measuring from few millimeters to 2 cm in height. The male carries eggs and young concealed within the trunk region. They are the only creature known where the male gives birth to young live ponies.
The male Seahorse courts the female by attaching his tail to a “hitching post” next to the female and vibrates his tiny Dorsal Fin rapidly to attract her attention. Eventually, she will respond to his advances by extending her “egg tube” slightly and grasping his tail twirling and spinning towards the top of the water while delivering her eggs into the males expanded open pouch. They swim in an upright position with their tails down and their heads up. Their dorsal fin moves them forward and the pectoral fin controls steering and turning. Very little is known about their life cycle. They are thought to eat the same zooplankton as the seafans that they inhabit and they seem to prefer seafans to other family members, as there are normally few other inhabitants on a pygmy’s seafan.
Seahorses are found all over the world and inhabit coral reefs and sea grass beds. They are Widespread in the Western Pacific, including in waters around Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Vanutu. (text source: Wikipedia)
September 8, 2008
The Clearfin Lionfish, Tailbar Lionfish, Radiata Lionfish or Radial Firefish, Pterois radiata, is a carnivorous ray-finned fish with venomous spines that lives in the Indian and western Pacific oceans.
It is the only lionfish species with blank spines. But it can also be recognized by the pair of horizontal white stripes on its tail. (text source: Wikipedia)
August 22, 2008
Wikipedia has no article on Seagrass Ghost Pipefish. Also know as Robust ghost pipefish. The seagrass name comes from the ability to camouflage itself among seagrass by changing its color to green.
May 13, 2008
The Manta ray, Manta birostris, is the largest of the rays, with the largest known specimen having been about 7.6 m (about 25 ft) across, with a weight of about 2,300 kg (about 5,000 lb). It ranges throughout all tropical waters of the world, typically around coral reefs.
Mantas have been given a variety of common names, including Atlantic manta, Pacific manta, devilfish, and just manta. Some people just call all members of the family stingrays, though stingrays comprise a separate family of rays (Dasyatidae).
Mantas are most commonly black dorsally and white ventrally, but some are blue on their backs. A manta’s eyes are located at the base of the cephalic lobes on each side of the head, and unlike other rays the mouth is found at the anterior edge of its head. To respire, like other rays, the manta has five pairs of gills on the underside.
To swim better through the ocean, they have a diamond shaped body plan, using their pectoral fins as graceful “wings”.
Distinctive “horns” (from which the common name Devil ray stems) are on either side of its broad head. These unique structures are actually derived from the pectoral fins. During embryonic development, part of the pectoral fin breaks away and moves forward, surrounding the mouth. This gives the manta ray the distinction of being the only jawed vertebrate to have novel limbs (the so-called six-footed tortoise, Manouria emys, does not actually have six legs–only enlarged tuberculate scales on their thighs that look superficially like an extra pair of hind limbs). These flexible horns are used to direct plankton, small fish and water into the manta’s very broad and wide mouth. The manta can curl them to reduce drag while swimming.
Taxonomically, the situation of the mantas is still under investigation. Three species have been identified: Manta birostris, Manta ehrenbergii, and Manta raya, but they are quite similar, and the latter two may just be isolated populations. The genus Manta is sometimes placed in its own family, Mobulidae, but this article follows FishBase taxonomy, and places it in the family Myliobatidae, along with eagle rays and their relatives.
Mantas are filter feeders: they feed on plankton, fish larvae and the like, passively filtered from the water passing through their gills as they swim. The small prey organisms are caught on flat horizontal plates of russet-coloured spongy tissue, that span the spaces between the manta’s gill bars.
Mantas are extremely curious around humans, and are fond of swimming with scuba divers. Although they may approach humans, if touched, their mucus membrane is removed, causing lesions and infections on their skin. They will often surface to investigate boats (without engines running). They have the largest brain-to-body ratio of the sharks and rays. Mantas are known to breach the water into the air.
May 2, 2008
May 2, 2008
Wikipedia has no article on Smooth Trunkfish.