Glossodoris Cincta – Nudibranch Feeds on sponges. When crawling, the gills make vibrating movements. When provoked, it discharges a white fluid from mantle dermal formations – in which they store distasteful chemicals from their food sponges to use defensively.
Etymology Glosso= Greek ‘singular’ + dorís= ‘a nymph’, one of the daughters of Oceanus cinctus= Greek ‘to put a belt around’
Juvenile Warty Frogfish or Clown Frogfish – Antennarius 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 – Acentronura 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.
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 – Monacanthus 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.
Phyllodesmium briareum – Nudibranch – There is a lot going on in those wavy arms. The name briareus was apparently given to it because it uses camouflage and looks like the soft coral Briareum violacea with which it is often found. Their specific name briareum comes from Briareos, one of three Greek storm giants who each had one hundred hands and fifty heads. P. briareum spends the day feeding on various kinds of soft coral, but they also have contains zooxanthellae which live in specialized ducts in the digestive gland. They do their photosynthesis thing and provide sugars.
The tentacles are cerata (from the Greek word meaning “horn”, a reference to the shape of these structures) of conventional aeolid shape. Aeolids (a suborder of Nudibranchia)take their name from the Greek god of the winds, Aeolus because of the waving of their cerata resembles streamers in the wind. All aeolids have these dorsal and lateral outgrowths of the body. They are a blood-filled tube which contains a duct of the digestive gland. At the tip of the ceras in most aeolids is a sac, called the cnidosac which stores stinging nematocysts from the cnidarians (sea anemones, hydroids etc) on which they feed. Aeolids can discharge these nematocysts in their own defense. Some aeolids, such as species of Phyllodesmium which feed on soft-corals, do not have a cnidosac because the nematocysts of soft-corals are of little use in defense. Instead their cerata produce a horrible sticky secretion at the tip of the ceras. The cerata can even drop off and wriggle around, hopefully distracting assailants giving it a chance to escape.
Being an aeolid, P. briareum lacks the gills
found in many other nudibranches. Instead, they do all their breathing
straight through the skin, but particularly through those wonderful
tentacles which are known as cerata.
Thecacera picta – Nudibranch – They are almost clear, you can see its internal organs through the translucent body. A characteristic feature of this genus are the long horns on its back, which can be extended and retracted. Most of the nudibranchs with feathery gills have them near the back of the body, but here they’re closer to the front.
Etymology Thecacera. From Greek ‘theke’, a receptacle, a scabbard or sheath + ‘kerós’, horn, for the shielded rhinophores. picta – From Latin ‘pictus’ for painted, colored, decorated
A rhinophore is one of a pair of chemosensory rod-shaped structures which are the most prominent part of the external head anatomy in nudibranchs.
Etymology Rhinophore – relates to the function as an organ of “smell”. A mixed Latin and Greek word meaning “carrying noses” – “Rhino-” means nose from Ancient Greek ‘rhis’ and from its genitive rhinos. “Phore” means “to bear” from New Latin -‘phorus’ and from Greek -phoros “bearing”, a derivative of phérein.
Ambon Crinoid Shrimp or Feather Star Shrimp – Periclimenes amboinensis – Hiding among the arms of the crinoid this little shrimp wondered if I could see him.
Small in size, between 1 – 1.5 cm, they can be highly variable in colors – Yellow, White,Black,Blue,Orange,Green,Brown and in combination of colors, all depending on the host Crinoid that it lives on, for camouflage.
Crinoids, also known as “feather stars” or comatulids are harmless, colorful creatures. They are among the most ancient and primitive of ocean invertebrates. Crinoids are Echinoderms (Phylum Echinodermata, meaning “spiny skin”). To feed, they extend their arms to catch bits of plankton or detritus (waste matter) passing in the current, making them “suspension feeders”.
Etymology of amboinensis Means “from Ambon” the island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.
Etymology of Crinoid – Greek word krinon, “a lily”, and eidos, “form”
Whitemargin Stargazer fish – Uranoscopus 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.
Spider Decorator Crab – Camposcia retusa – The choice of noxious or stinging organisms as decorations implies that attaching them provides protection from predators by aposematism (warning) rather than by crypsis (camouflage), and there is direct observational evidence for this, e.g. that octopuses in tanks avoided decorated crabs. The relationship of crab and organisms such as sea anemones used as decoration may be mutualistic, offering protection to the crab and food to the anemone.
The crab tears a piece of adornment in its claws,
chews it, and then rubs it firmly on its body until it catches on the
“Velcro-like hooked setae”, curved hairs which permit camouflage
materials to be attached. The carefully chosen decoration is
supplemented by cryptic behavior, such as remaining still by day, and
freezing when predators approach.