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

Pixy Hawkfish [Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus]

Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus

Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus, the Coral hawkfish, is a species of hawkfish found on tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific. It occasionally is found in the aquarium trade. It grows to a length of 10 centimetres (3.9 in)

 Pictures: Great Barrier Reef, Australia 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

Stonefish [Synanceia horrida]

Stonefish

Synanceia verrucosa is a fish species known as the reef stonefish or simply stonefish. It is a carnivorous ray-finned fish with venomous spines. It lives on reef bottoms camouflaged as a rock. It is the most venomous known fish in the world. It can be lethal to humans. This stonefish lives primarily above the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the most widespread species in the stonefish family, and is known from shallow tropical marine waters in the Pacific and Indian Oceans from the Red Sea to the Great Barrier Reef.

This stonefish is usually brown or gray, and it may have areas of yellow, orange or red. This species reaches 30 to 40 centimeters long; a specimen of 51 centimeters has been recorded. This fish lives in coral reefs. It may settle on and around rocks and plants, or rest on the seabed. It eats mostly small fish, shrimp and other crustaceans.

 Pictures: Great Barrier Reef, Australia by Sami Salmenkivi

Devil Stinger [Inimicus didactylus]

00 devil stinger

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

Commerson’s frogfish [Antennarius commerson]

00 frogfish

Antennarius commerson is a small fish which grows up to 38 centimetres (15 in). Like other members of its family, it has a globular, extensible body. The soft skin is covered with small dermal spinules. Its skin is partially covered with a few small wartlike protuberances, some variable shape scab-like blotches and a few small eye-spots (ocelli) reminiscent of the holes in sponges. Its large mouth is prognathous, allowing it to consume prey as large as itself. The coloration is extremely variable as they tend to match their environment. Frogfish can change their coloration in a few weeks. However, the dominant coloration goes from grey to black passing through a whole range of related hues like cream, pink, yellow, red, brown and also usually with circular eye-spots or blotches that are darker than the background. Juvenile specimens can easily be confused with relatives Antennarius maculatus and Antennarius pictus. To distinguish these species, A. maculatus usually has red or orange margins on all fins, while A. maculatus has numerous warts on the skin, and A. pictus is covered with ocelli. A. pictus has three eyespots on its caudal fin.

 Pictures: Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi