Category Archives: Fishes

tiny Warty Frogfish

Juvenile Warty Frogfish or Clown Frogfish - Antennarius maculatus
Warty Frogfish or Clown Frogfish – Antennarius maculatus

Juvenile Warty Frogfish or Clown FrogfishAntennarius maculatus
You can tell a Warty Frogfish from the painted frog fish by the skin being very warty (not so much as still juvenile) and a large triangle patch starting at the eye. The warty frogfish exhibits biofluorescence, that is, when illuminated by blue or ultraviolet light, it re-emits it as red, and appears differently than under white light illumination. Biofluorescence may assist intraspecific communication and camouflage.

Etymology
antenna – Latin =’ a sensory appendage on the head’ refering to the fish’s lure, + arius – Latin = ‘pertaining to’
maculatus – Latin = ‘spot, stain’

Shortpouch Pygmy Pipehorse and friends

Shortpouch pygmy pipehorse - Acentronura tentaculata
Shortpouch pygmy pipehorse – Acentronura tentaculata

Shortpouch pygmy pipehorseAcentronura tentaculata
Like a combination of seahorse and pipe fish: their tail is prehensile and used for anchorage, winding itself around pieces of algae or seagrass. However, the front part of the body is typical pipefish, with the head and body held in line rather than bent through and angle like seahorses. There is sexual dimorphism and the males are somewhat larger and more robustly built than the females. Because they are so small, the brood pouch is also large in proportion to the body, giving the males a somewhat more seahorse-like appearance than the females which have the typical slim linear form of pipefishes.

Skeleton Shrimp – Caprellidae family – amphipods. Females carry large number of transparent eggs inside the brood pouch (located on her abdomen) until they hatch.

Etymology:
Acentronura: Greek, a = ‘without’ + Greek, kentron = ‘sting’ + Greek, oura = ‘tail’

Pookey the pygmy pipehorse gathers his skeleton shrimp friends around to retell the great story of the day that Jon descended down from the waters above. Jon was dressed in a dark fake skin that was stretched very tight. Attached to each of his rear appendages were awkward rubber fins. His blue eyes were concealed behind a layer glass. A great hissing sound followed by a rumble of bubbles escaped from around Jon's mouth in a rhythmic pattern. Hssssss blublublublublublub Hsssssss blublublublublublub! He carried in front of him a great contraption that flashed a very bright light from the orbs at the end each of its antennas - one on each side of a single unblinking eye. Jon stayed only a few moments peering into this contraption and pointing that mysterious eye to and fro. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub…..FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. Then, Jon swam off at a great speed. It was indeed a marvelous day.

Slender Filefish blends right in

Slender FilefishMonacanthus tuckeri
This filefish is a master of adaptive camouflage, it changes appearance in less than four seconds. Three-dimensional dermal flaps complement the melanophore skin patterns by enhancing the complexity of the fish’s physical skin texture to disguise its actual body shape. Found over sandy and rocky bottoms. Usually they live solitary or in pairs between gorgonians, sponges or near coral growths. Often they stay vertically in the water. Especially between gorgonians they are difficult to spot in this position. Feeds on algae and invertebrates. Due to the extremely small size of the slender filefish, they do not lie on the seabed as bigger fish do, but use their mouth to grasp the soft corals which prevents them from drifting with the sea currents.

Etymology:
Monacanthus: Greek, monos = ‘one’ + Greek, akantha = ‘thorn’

Painted frogfish

Painted Frogfish - Antennarius pictus
Painted Frogfish – Antennarius pictus

Painted FrogfishAntennarius pictus – Has a lure which is about twice as long as the second dorsal spine. Nearly always 3 light-edged spots on tail fin. A. pictus shows a lot of different colors and changes them quite often.

I was disappointed that I could not capture a photo of the little lure waving about. When I put my camera in the housing I did not get the strobe hot shoe clicked completely in place. This was lighted by holding my dive light from above and I couldn’t produce enough light for a fast enough shutter speed to catch the waving.

Etymology
Antennarius: From Latin, antenna, antemna = ‘sensory organ’
pictus: From Latin = ‘painted’


Smile….Ouch

Lance Blenny - Aspidontus dussumieri
Lance Blenny – Aspidontus dussumieri

Lance BlennyAspidontus dussumieri
These are what is known as a ¬†false cleanerfish. They are noted for their cunning mimicry of cleaner wrasses: by imitating the latter’s color, form, and behavior, these blennies are able to trick other fish (or even divers) into letting down their guard, long enough for the blennies to nip a quick mouthful of skin or scale.

Etymology:
Aspidontus: Greek, aspis, -idos = shield + Latin, dens, dentis = teeth
The specific name honors the French explorer and trader Jean-Jacques Dussumier. He is known as a collector of zoological species from southern Asia and regions around the Indian Ocean between 1816 and 1840. Dussumier’s name was lent to numerous species, and an entire genus of herrings is called Dussumieria.

LeftEye Flounder

Intermediate Flounder - Asterorhombus intermedius
Intermediate Flounder – Asterorhombus intermedius

Intermediate FlounderAsterorhombus intermedius  
Lefteye flounders are a family, Bothidae, of flounders. They are called “lefteye flounders” because most species lie on the sea bottom on their right sides, with both eyes on their left sides.

A helpful reminder when trying to recall the family name for this fish is that:

“Bothidae (Both o’ dey) eyes are on the same side o’ dey head.”

Etymology:

  • Asterorhombus: Greek, aster = “star” + Greek, rhombos = “paralelogram”
  • intermedius Latin “intermediate”, used in medical names and descriptions of structures in the body that are between two other structures

Whitemargin Stargazer Fish

WhitemMargin Stargazer - Uranoscopus sulphureus
Whitemargin Stargaser look’n up at ya

Whitemargin Stargazer fishUranoscopus sulphureus – Stargazers are not a fish to mess with. They have double-grooved poison spines behind the operculum and above the pectoral fins and wounds can be quite serious. Stargazer possess electric organs located in a specialized pouch behind the eyes and can discharge up to 50 volts, depending on the temperature of the water at the time! Because stargazers are ambush predators which camouflage themselves and some can deliver both venom and electric shocks, they have been called “the meanest things in creation”. The fish is often locally known as the mother-in-law fish.

Inhabits reef flats but is rarely seen because it lies buried in the bottom most of the time, with only the eyes showing. When buried, the cirri on the edge of the mouth serve to keep out the sand during respiration. The oral lure is used to attract the prey within striking range of the mouth.

This little fellow was only about 15cm long but they get to a maximum length of 45.0 cm.

Etymology: Uranoscopus: Greek, ouranos = sky + Greek skopein = to watch

Yellow Barred Jawfish

Yellowbarred Jawfish - Opistognathus randalli
Yellowbarred Jawfish – Opistognathus randalli


Yellowbarred – Tiger – Gold specs jawfish, Opistognathus randalli
Found singly with just his head showing in rock lined burrows on sand and rubble areas. They feed mainly on benthic crustaceans, invertebrates and zooplankton.

Jawfish are usually found in self-constructed burrows with just the head showing waiting for their prey, they have huge mouths for the size of head.
After mating the males incubate the eggs in their mouths!

The Devil Scorpion Fish

Devil Scorpion  Fish - Scorpaenopsis diabolus

The Devil Scorpion Fish – Scorpaenopsis diabolus, the false stonefish is a carnivorous ray-finned fish. It has venomous spines and is a bottom-dwelling predator that relies on its camouflage to catch passing prey. The inner sides of the broad pectoral fins have orange, black, and white blotches and the fins can be “flashed” as a warning.

Originally spotted using an ultra-violet light. They exhibit biofluorescence, that is, when illuminated ultraviolet light, it re-emits it as red, and appears differently than under white light.
Biofluorescence may assist in intraspecific communication and camouflage.


A face a mother may not love. They always scares the crap out of me when I see one, especially when they crawl around on their ventral fins.

JON bUCHHEIM