Mailed butterflyfish [Chaetodon reticulatus]

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The mailed butterflyfish (Chaetodon reticulatus) is a species of butterflyfish found at depths of from 1 to 30 metres (3.3 to 98 ft) on reefs in the central and western Pacific Ocean. It grows to a length of 18 centimetres (7.1 in) TL and can be found in the aquarium trade. It is also of minor importance to local commercial fisheries.

 Pictures: Cook Islands by Sami Salmenkivi

Orbiculate cardinalfish [Sphaeramia orbicularis]

cardinal fish

The Orbiculate cardinalfish, Sphaeramia orbicularis is a species of cardinalfish. It grows to about 10 centimeters total length, and has a thin, dark vertical ‘waistband’ with scattered dark spots toward the tail. It is found in coastal areas throughout much of the Indo-Pacific, including East Africa, Kiribati, the Ryukyu Islands, New Caledonia, Belau, and the eastern Caroline and Mariana Islands. The male incubates the eggs until they hatch. It eats mostly planktonic crustaceans, mainly at night. While it is not a common marine aquarium fish, it can be a good for beginners.

 Pictures: Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Gray angelfish [Pomacanthus arcuatus]

mexico-gray-angelfish

The Gray angelfish, Pomacanthus arcuatus, is a large angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae, found in the western Atlantic from New England to the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and also the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean, including the Antilles, at depths of between 2 and 30 m. Length is up to 60 cm.

The gray angelfish is common in coral reefs, usually solitary, occasionally in pairs. Juveniles are part-time cleaners. It feeds mainly on sponges, but also takes tunicates, algae, zoantharians, gorgonians, hydroids, bryozoans, and seagrasses. Its flesh is reported to be of excellent quality and it is marketed fresh and salted. It is friendly toward divers and has been reared in captivity.
Coloration is pale gray around the mouth, with a pale gray margin on the caudal fin. The inside of the pectoral fin is yellow. Juveniles are black with two light yellow bars on the body and three on the head; the caudal fin is yellow with a vertically elongate, nearly rectangular or hemispherical black spot in the middle.
Reproduction is oviparous and members of this species are monogamous. (text: Wikipedia)

Pictures: Cozumel, Mexico by Sami Salmenkivi

French angelfish [Pomacanthus paru]

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adult

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intermediate

The French angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, is a large angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae, found in the western Atlantic from Florida and the Bahamas to Brazil, and also the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, including the Antilles, and the eastern Atlantic from around Ascension Island and St. Paul’s Rocks, at depths of between 2 and 100 m. Length is up to 41 cm.

The French angelfish is common in shallow reefs, usually in pairs, often near sea fans. It feeds on sponges, algae, bryozoans, zoantharians, gorgonians and tunicates. Juveniles tend cleaning stations where they service a broad range of clients, including jacks, snappers, morays, grunts, surgeonfishes, and wrasses. At the station the cleaner displays a fluttering swimming and when cleaning it touches the clients with its pelvic fins.

Coloration in adults is black, the scales of the body, except those at the front from nape to abdomen, being rimmed with golden yellow; a broad orange-yellow bar at pectoral absent; dorsal filament yellow; chin whitish; outer part of iris yellow; eye narrowly rimmed below with blue. Juveniles are black with vertical yellow bands.
Reproduction is oviparous and these species are monogamous. Spawning pairs are strongly territorial, with usually both members vigorously defending their areas against neighboring pairs.

Pictures: Cozumel, Mexico by Sami Salmenkivi

Whitetip reef shark [Triaenodon obesus]

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The whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, the only member of the genus Triaenodon.

The whitetip reef shark is one of the most common sharks found in shallow tropical and warm temperate water around coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It occurs at depths down to 330 metres (1,100 ft). Snorkelers often encounter these sharks.

As its name suggests, the tips of the shark’s first dorsal fin and upper caudal fin are white. The upper body is grey/brownish. Their average length is about 140 to 160 centimetres (55 to 63 in) and the maximum reported length is 2.1 metres (6.9 ft).[1] Its head is broad and flat.

The whitetip reef shark feeds primarily on crustaceans, octopuses, and fish.

This bottom dwelling shark is nocturnal and is often seen resting on the bottom during the day, sometimes in small groups. It is not aggressive and will generally swim away if disturbed, although it may bite if harassed. At night it hunts among crevices in the reef.

Reproduction is viviparous, with one to five pups in a litter, the gestation period being at least five months. The shark’s size at birth ranges from 50 centimetres (20 in) to 60 centimetres (24 in). It is estimated that this shark can live for about 25 years and it reaches maturity after about five years. (text source: Wikipedia)

Pictures: Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Blacktip reef shark [Carcharhinus melanopterus]

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The blacktip reef shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus, is a shark of tropical and warm temperate seas. It is often confused with the blacktip shark, Carcharhinus limbatus.

One of the most common sharks found in shallow (sometimes as shallow as 30 cm) water around coral reefs of Indo-Pacific waters. The water they swim in is usually between 20 and 27° C (70 to 80º F). Blacktip reef sharks do not venture into tropical lakes and rivers far from the ocean.

As its name suggests, the tips of the shark’s pectoral fins and dorsal fin are black, with a white underside. Its skin is brownish in color on the top half of its body. It has been recorded at up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in length and over 99 lbs (45 kg) in weight.[1] Its snout is blunt and rounded. The gray reef shark looks similar, and is also common, but is distinguished by its stockier and grey body and its lack of a black tip on the dorsal fin.

A blacktip reef shark’s diet consists mainly of reef fish, but they will also feed on rays, crabs, crustaceans, cephalopods, and other mollusks.
[edit]Reproduction, behavior, and interaction with humans

Reproduction is viviparous, with 2 to 4 pups in a litter. Before giving birth, female blacktip reef sharks will incubate their young for 16 months. The pups’ length at birth ranges from 33 to 52 cm.
This species is not considered social, but can be seen in small groups. While generally shy, they often are curious about snorkelers and scuba divers. As with most sharks, the body is bent into a sort of “S” shape when the shark feels threatened. Blacktip reef sharks are harmless unless provoked. Incidents generally involve hand feeding or spear fishing, possibly in combination with low visibility.
The blacktip is one of only a few sharks that can jump fully out of the water, a behaviour called breaching. They have also been observed surfacing to look around (spy-hopping).[2]

Blacktip reef sharks are often the bycatch from other fisheries and are often wasted. Their populations are declining, and so are the population of many other shark species. Their fins are used for shark fin soup which is a major factor in the population decline in recent years.They don’t attack humans. (text source: Wikipedia)

Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Black grouper [Mycteroperca bonaci]

The black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci, is one of the best known of the large group of Perciform fish called groupers. The black grouper is a large marine fish, growing up to 150 centimetres in length and 100 kilograms in weight. It has an olive or gray body, with black blotches and brassy spots. The preopercle is gently rounded. It is associated with rocky or coral reefs but is not dependent on them; it is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts, USA, in the north to southern Brazil, but is particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Adults are not found at the northern extremes of its range. It lives mostly near the surface, at depths ranging from 6 to 33 meters.

The black grouper is quite tasty and an important food fish, is fished for sale but also for sea-angling. While not currently considered endangered, it is vulnerable to increases in exploitation because it is a relatively slow breeder. The black grouper is a solitary fish. Adults feed mainly on other fish and squid, though the younger fish feed on crustaceans especially shrimps.

The fish spawns between May and August. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite, i.e. the young are predominantly female but transform into males as they grow larger. There are other fish that are sometimes called “black groupers”. These include the similar gag grouper, Mycteroperca microlepis, the misty grouper Epinephelus mystacinus, and the critically endangered Warsaw grouper Epinephelus nigritus.

Picture: Cozumel, Mexico by Sami Salmenkivi