Picasso Triggerfish [Rhinecanthus aculeatus]

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The lagoon triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), also known as the blackbar triggerfish, the Picasso triggerfish, thePicassofish, and the Jamal, is a triggerfish, up to 30 cm in length, found on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. The Hawaiian name for the fish, humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, (meaning “triggerfish with a snout like a pig”) shares the same name with the reef triggerfish, the state fish of Hawaii. This species has been studied in a range of research contexts, from locomotion to colour vision research.

 Pictures: taken at Cook Islands by Sami Salmenkivi

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Lyretail Anthias [Pseudanthias squamipinnis]

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Female

Anthias fixed

Male

The sea goldie (Pseudanthias squamipinnis), also known as the lyretail coralfishlyretail anthias, and scalefin anthia, is a small species of colourful fish in the subfamily Anthiinae. It is a common sight to scuba divers in the Indian Ocean. Female: Length up to 7 cm, orange/gold colour with violet streak below the eye. Male: Length up to 15 cm, fuchsia colour with elongated 3rd ray of the dorsal fin, a red patch on the pectoral fin and elongated margins of the tail.

 Pictures: Great Barrier Reef, Australia by Sami Salmenkivi

Teardrop Butterflyfish [Chaetodon unimaculatus]

teardrop butterflyfish

The Teardrop ButterflyfishChaetodon unimaculatus, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). In the Indian Ocean it is replaced by the Yellow Teardrop Butterflyfish (C. interruptus), now considered to be a separate species but previously included in C. unimaculatus as a subspecies. In its subgenus Lepidochaetodon – sometimes considered a separate genus– it is only distantly related to species such as the Sunburst Butterflyfish (C. kleinii) and the Tahiti Butterflyfish (C. trichrous).

 Pictures: at Cook Islands by Sami Salmenkivi

Honeycomb moray [Gymnothorax favagineus]

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The Laced morayGymnothorax favagineus, also known as the leopard moraytesselate moray or honeycomb moray, is a species of moray eel. Laced moray can grow up to 300cm in length, and as such are one of the larger species of moray eel. They feed mainly on small fish and cephalopods. It has been observed that adults are prone to be aggressive in the wild. They are found in the Indo-Pacific, and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south of Australia. These morays live at depths of between 1 and 45m, usually in crevices within reef flats and slopes.

 Pictures: Komodo, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Devil Stinger [Inimicus didactylus]

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Inimicus didactylus, also known as Demon Stinger or Devil Stinger, is a member of the Inimicus genus of venomous fishes, closely related to the true stonefishes. It can reach a body length of 25 cm (10 in) and is irregularly surfaced with spines and a knobby appearance. The fish has venomous spines to ward off enemies. The fish are nocturnal, and often dig themselves partially into the sandy seabed during the day. The body is red or sandy yellow and well camouflaged on sandy and coral seabeds.

 Pictures: Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Tasselled Wobbegong [Eucrossorhinus dasypogon]

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The tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) is a species of carpet shark in the family Orectolobidae and the only member of its genus. It inhabits shallow coral reefs off northern Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands. Reaching 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in length, this species has a broad and flattened body and head. Its most distinctive trait is a fringe of branching dermal flaps around its head, which extends onto its chin. The fringe, along with its complex color pattern of small blotches and reticulations, enable it tocamouflage itself against the reef environment.

During the day, the solitary tasselled wobbegong can generally be found lying inside caves or under ledges with its tail curled. Individual sharks tend to remain within a local area and have favored resting spots. While resting, it opportunistically ambushes nearby fishes and invertebrates, and also lures in prey by waving its tail to mimic the appearance of a small fish. At night, it emerges and actively forages for food. This species is aplacental viviparous, though little is known of its life history. The tasselled wobbegong has been reported to bite humans unprovoked; attacks may result from people accidentally disturbing the shark or being misperceived as prey. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species as Near Threatened, as outside of Australia it is threatened by fisheries and habitat degradation.

 Pictures: Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi