Common Seahorse [Hippocampus Taeniopterus or Hippocampus Kuda]

seahorse 2

Sea horse

Female Common Seahorses are usually yellow with a few large dark spots. Males are grey to brown with striations on the head and fine dark spots on the trunk. The Common Seahorse is listed in many references as H. kuda. Hippocampus kuda, also known as the common seahorse, estuary seahorse, or yellow seahorse is a member of the family Syngnathidae (seahorses and pipefishes) of the order Syngnathiformes. The common sea horse is a small, equine-like fish, with extraordinary breeding methods.[3] Greeks and Romans believed the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Poseidon/Neptune, and the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power. Europeans believed that the seahorse carried the souls of deceased sailors to the underworld – giving them safe passage and protection until they met their soul’s destination. The common seahorse is considered a vulnerable species.

The common seahorse can be found in a variety of habitats in the shallow coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific, including coral reefs, muddy slopes, and shallow estuaries.The common seahorse has been observed to use its prehensile tail to anchor itself to coral branches or floating sargassum in the wild.

 Pictures: Sulawesi, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Threeband pennantfish [Heniochus chrysostomus]

threeband pennantfish

Heniochus chrysostomus, common name Threeband pennantfish, is a tropical fish of the family Chaetodontidae. Heniochus chrysostomus can attain a maximum length of 18 centimetres (7.1 in) in males. The body is oval, laterally flattened, with a basic white color and three broad oblique brown bands. The first band runs from the forehead up to the pelvic fins, the second from the dorsal fin to the anal fin, the third is adjacent to the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is elongated, in juveniles much more than in adults. Juvenile fishes are solitary. The snout tip is yellow. This species is oviparous and feeds on coral polyps. This species has an Indo-Pacific distribution, from Western India to Pitcairn Islands, Japan, southern Queensland, Micronesia and New Caledonia. Threeband pennantfish typically lives below the intertidal zone in coastal waters and in shallow water lagoon among the coral reefs, at a depth of 2–40 metres (6 ft 7 in–131 ft 3 in).

 Pictures: Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Boomerang Triggerfish [Sufflamen bursa]

00 Cook 0 picasso fish female?

Sufflamen bursa, also known as the Bursa, Scythe or Boomerang Triggerfish, is a Triggerfish from the Indo-Pacific. It occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade. It grows to a size of 25 cm in length. “Scythe” markings on the tail of the triggerfish contain pigments which may change hue from light yellow to dark brown depending on mood of the fish.

 Pictures: Cook Islands by Sami Salmenkivi

Oriental Flying gurnard [Dactyloptena orientalis]

flying gurnard

The oriental flying gurnardDactyloptena orientalis, is a flying gurnard of the family Dactylopteridae. This flying gurnard inhabits the Indo-Pacific Oceans at depths to 100 metres (330 ft). Their name is derived from the French word ‘gurnard’ meaning to grunt, for the grunting sound this fish makes.

The oriental flying gurnard is up to 40 centimetres (16 in) in length and is usually a grayish brown color with dark markings. The fish has huge, round pectoral finshaving many dark markings and a bright blue edge. The pectoral fins are normally held against the body, but when threatened the fins are expanded to scare predators which include sea breams and mackerel. The flying gurnard uses its pelvic fins to walk along the bottom of the ocean. The oriental flying gurnard feed on bony fish, bivalves, and crustaceans.

 Pictures: Sulawesi, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Tasselled Wobbegong [Eucrossorhinus dasypogon]

00 wobbegong

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

Black Coral Goby [Bryaninops tigris]

00 Black Coral Goby, Bryaninops tigris

Bryaninops (commonly known as sea whip gobies) is a tropical Indo-Pacific genus of gobies. The genus takes its common name from the fact that it is commensal on gorgonians (commonly known as sea whips) and black coral. The genus is further characterised by cryptic colouration.

 Pictures: Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi