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Daily Marine Bio:
Commerson's Frogfish (Antennarius commerson)
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Commerson's frogfish or the giant frogfish, Antennarius commerson, is a marine fish belonging to the family Antennariidae.
Commerson's frogfish grows up to 38 cm (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 variably shaped, 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. Their coloration is extremely variable, as they tend to match their environments. 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, such as cream, pink, yellow, red, and brown, and also usually with circular eye spots or blotches that are darker than the background. Juvenile specimens can easily be confused with related 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 eye spots on its caudal fin.
The first dorsal spine, the illicium, is modified for use as a fishing rod. Its extremity is endowed with a characteristic esca (lure), which resembles a small fish or shrimp with a pinkish to brownish coloration. The illicium is twice the length of the second dorsal spine and is often darkly banded. The second dorsal spine is practically straight and is mobile, the third one is bent towards the back of the body, and both are membranously attached to the head. They are well separated from each other and also from the dorsal fin.
The pectoral fins are angled, and the pelvic fins help the frogfish move on the bottom and keep a stable position for ambush.
Antennarius commerson lives in the tropical and subtropical waters from the Indian Ocean to the eastern coasts of the Pacific Ocean. It is found in lagoons and sheltered rocky and coral reefs. They are usually associated with big sponges, on underwater ropes, on jetty pillars, or any structures down to 70 m (230 ft) deep, with an average occurrence at 20 m (66 ft) deep.
As all frogfishes, A. hispidus is a voracious carnivore which attacks any small animals that pass within range, mainly other fish, but sometimes even congeners. Commerson's frogfish has a benthic and solitary lifestyle. They gather during the mating period, but do not tolerate each other any more after the act of fertilization. The male can kill or eat the female if she stays close. It uses a small tuft of flattened appendage as a fishing lure.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerson%27s_frogfish
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lophiiformes
Family: Antennariidae
Genus: Antennarius
Species: A.commerson
(Week 42, Day 1)
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Daily Marine Bio:
Atlantic Sailfish (Istiophorus albicans)
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The Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans) is a species of marine fish in the family Istiophoridae of the order Perciformes. It is found in the Atlantic Oceans and the Caribbean Sea, except for large areas of the central North Atlantic and the central South Atlantic, from the surface to depths of 200 m (656 ft). The Atlantic sailfish is related to the marlin.
Tests in the 1920s estimated that the Atlantic sailfish was capable of short sprints of up to 111 kilometres per hour; however, more conservative estimates of 37 to 55 kilometres per hour are more widely accepted.
Atlantic sailfish hunt schooling fish, such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel although they also feed on crustaceans and cephalopods.
The Atlantic sailfish is a metallic blue fish with a large sail-like dorsal fin and a long and pointed bill-like snout. It is dark bluish-black on the upperparts and lighter on the sides (counter-shading), with about twenty bluish horizontal bars along the flanks; the underparts are silvery white. The tail fin is strongly forked. The fins are bluish-black and the front dorsal fin is speckled with small black spots. The bases of the anal fins are pale.
The length of this fish is up to 3.15 m (10.3 ft) and the maximum published weight is 58.1 kg (128.1 lb).
In previous studies, sailfish hunting schools of sardines rely heavily upon stealth and quick slashing or tapping with the rostrum in order to temporarily immobilize prey and facilitate capture in small prey. The adaptive advantage of the bill is highly debated and many different functions have been suggested. The bill has been hypothesized to increase the hydrodynamic qualities of the fish and even to ward off predators. However, it has been well documented that the sailfish utilizes the bill in hunting.
The Atlantic sailfish is a pelagic fish of tropical and temperate waters in the Atlantic Ocean. It ranges from approximately 40°N in the northwestern Atlantic to 40°S in the southwestern Atlantic, and 50°N in the northeastern Atlantic to 32°S in the southeastern Atlantic. It is a migratory species and moves about the open ocean and into the Mediterranean Sea. Its depth range is from warm surface waters down to about 200 m (656 ft).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_sailfish
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Istiophoridae
Genus: Istiophorus
Lacépède, 1801
Species: I. albicans
(Week 22, Day 7)
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Daily Marine Bio:
Ocellated Dragonet (Synchiropus ocellatus)
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Synchiropus ocellatus (Ocellated dragonet or Scooter Dragonet) is a species of tropical marine fish in the Dragonet (Callionymidae) family. It is native to the southwest Pacific Ocean from southern Japan to the Marquesan Islands.
The Scooter Dragonet is often referred to as the Ocellated Dragonet and, in the aquarium trade, as the Scooter Blenny. This often causes confusion because many then believe that the species is a member of the Blenny family when it is actually not. The same species is also occasionally listed under the scientific name Neosynchiropus ocellatus, and many mistakenly believe they are separate species.
The Scooter Dragonet grows to approximately 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long. Viewed from above, it is distinctly diamond-shaped with the horizontal pectoral fins located at its widest point. It is brown and tan with a striped or spotted pattern- males are usually more colorful and have a large sail-like dorsal fin that is bright orange at the base.
The Scooter Dragonet is a reef-associated bottom dwelling fish that inhabits shallow, tropical waters, usually sandy lagoons or rocky reefs. They tend to form loose congregations of several individuals, but do not exhibit schooling behavior or other forms of social cooperation. Scooter Dragonets' diet consists almost entirely of Copepods: small zooplankton living in the water column. However, in captivity the Scooter Dragonet can often be acclimated to consuming live, frozen or even artificial foods, such as flakes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocellated_dragonet
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Callionymoidei
Family: Callionymidae
Genus: Synchiropus
Species: S. ocellatus
(Week 19, Day 4)
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Daily Marine Bio:
Starck's Damsel (Chrysiptera starcki)
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Chrysiptera starcki is a species of damselfish known by the common name Starck's demoiselle. It is native to the western Pacific Ocean, where it has been reported from the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan to Australia, New Caledonia, and Tonga. It was originally described in 1973 as Abudefduf starcki.
Starck's demoiselle is blue with a yellow stripe down its back. It grows up to 7 cm in length.
The fish lives around reefs, often in deeper, outer areas, up to 60 metres deep. It lives in crevices in rocky areas. It pairs up to breed and the male guards and tends the eggs.
 In the wild, Starck's demoiselle will eat plankton (both zooplankton and phytoplankton).
This is a highly desired fish for a saltwater aquarium. Shallow waters are best for the fish. It can be very colorful if fed the correct diet. The minimum aquarium size is 76 L (20 gal). The tank should be decorated with rocks or gravel and should have many hiding places for the fish. It is not a very aggressive fish, but as it gets bigger it may harass smaller, more passive fish. Two of them together in a tank will fight, however. They are very easy to keep in captivity. They will eat many different types of foods in captivity.
When breeding, males will swim back and forth swiftly flashing their colors to attract females. Males will prepare a territory full of rubble for the female to lay her eggs. Then the male will fertilize them and aggressively defend them from intruders.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysiptera_starcki
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Chrysiptera
Species: C. starcki
(Week 10, Day 7)
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Daily Marine Bio:
Eastern Blue Devil (Paraplesiops bleekeri)
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Paraplesiops bleekeri, commonly known as the eastern blue devil, blue-tipped long-fin or Bleeker's blue devil fish, is a species of fish in the family Plesiopidae. This colourful, secretive fish is endemic to Australia, where it is a protected species.
This species grows to 40 cm, and is recognizable by blue and white bands on the body, blue spots on the head, and blue dorsal and anal fins. It also has a yellow base, pectoral, and caudal fins. The pelvic, posterior dorsal, and anal fins are all elongated.
This species is a close relative of the southern blue devil (Paraplesiops meleagris), which lives in the colder southern Australian waters.
The fish is found in coastal waters of eastern Australia between the Gold Coast of southern Queensland and Montague Island, most commonly between Sydney and Ulladulla.
This species is shy and secretive. Males have appeared to defend territories in caves or overhangs, where it remains to attract females and drive males away. They are most active at night.
Paraplesiops bleekeri are benthic, inshore reef inhabitants. They live inside caves, under ledges and overhangs in inshore reefs and estuaries. They also inhabit offshore waters ranging from 3 to 30 metres in depth.
This fish is known to eat brittle stars.
This species is protected under the laws of New South Wales Fisheries, in particular, the Fisheries Management Act 1994. It is illegal to collect or possess them without a permit.
They are protected because of their low abundance, and their desirability in the marine aquarium industry.
Efforts to protect them have included the conservation and protection of benthic estuarine habitats, as well as rocky offshore reef areas where they breed. Some protected habitats are:
Solitary Islands Marine Park
Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park
Jervis Bay Marine Park
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraplesiops_bleekeri
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Plesiopidae
Genus: Paraplesiops
Species: P. bleekeri
(Week 9, Day 7)
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