The Thornback Ray (Raja clavata) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Rajidae family of rays.
The Thornback Ray has a flat body in the shape of a kite or diamond. It has broad, winglike pectoral fins. It has a long thorny tail. Its back is covered with many thorny, prickly spikes. Some of the thorns look like thick buttons, called bucklers. Older females also have thorns on their underbelly.
It varies in colour, from light-grey or light-brown to grey with dark blotches or brown with light beige blotches. Its underside is creamy-white. Its eyes are close together at the top of its head.
Continue reading “Thornback Ray”
The Golden Damselfish (Amblyglyphidodon aureus)is a marine (saltwater) fish. It is in the Pomacentridae family of Damselfish and Clownfish.
The Golden Damselfish is yellow with blue or purple spots on its face. Some have dark blotches on their sides.
It grows to about 13 centimetres (5 inches) in length.
Continue reading “Golden Damselfish”
The Bala Shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus) is a freshwater fish in the Cyprinidae family. It is not a true shark. It is also known as the Tricolour Shark, the Tricolour Sharkminnow, or the Silver Shark.
The Bala Shark has a body shape similar to a shark, with a torpedo body and large fins. It is silver with black margins on all of its fins. It has big eyes.
Continue reading “Bala Shark”
The Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) is a freshwater fish. It is also known as the Zebra Cichlid or the Black-Striped Cichlid.
The Convict Cichlid has an oval-shaped bluish-grey body with 8 or 9 vertical black and white stripes. British convicts wore black and white uniforms, which is why it is called Convict Cichlid. The male has a lump on its forehead. The female has darker black bands.
Continue reading “Convict Cichlid”
The Black Sea Turbot (Scophthalmus maeoticus) is a marine, saltwater fish in the flatfish family. It is a sub-species of the Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) from the Mediterranean Sea, but this is under discussion by taxonomists, because it might be related to the European Turbot (Psetta maxima).
The Black Sea Turbot is thin and flat with a disc shape. Most flatfish have smooth skin, but the Black Sea Turbot has small spikes on both sides of its body. It is grey-black or brownish. Its eyes are small and close together.
Continue reading “Black Sea Turbot”
The Regal Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Royal Angelfish.
The Regal Angelfish is thin and compressed. It varies in colour, but is usually black-blue edged with blue-white and orange stripes that are narrow and angle backwards. Its dorsal (back) fin is black or blue with blue dots. The anal (bottom) fin has yellow and blue bands parallel to its body. Its caudal (tail) fin is yellow.
Continue reading “Regal Angelfish”
The Common Stingray (Dasyatis pastinaca) is a marine (saltwater) cartilaginous fish (without bones, like a shark). Instead of a bony skeleton, it has cartilage, which is the same substance as the human nose and human ears.
The Common Stingray is thin, flat, and diamond-shaped, but slightly wider than long (like a kite). It is pale-grey, brown or olive-green, with smooth skin. Its small mouth is located on its underside and its bulging eyes are close together on the top of its head. It has small blunt teeth. It has a long, tapering, whip-like tail with two dorsal fins and a venomous (poisonous) barb. It has five pairs of small gills, which enable it to breath underwater.
Continue reading “Common Stingray”
The Paroon Shark (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is a critically endangered freshwater fish in the Pangasiidae family of shark catfish. It is also known as the Giant Pangasius or the Pangasid-Catfish.
The Paroon Shark has a silver, curved underside and a dark-brown back. It has a wide, flat, whiskerless head. Its dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins are dark-grey. Its dorsal fin is long and trailing.
Continue reading “Paroon Shark”
The Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cirrhosus) is a freshwater fish in the Loricariidae family. It is also known as the Bushynose Catfish.
The Bristlenose Catfish has an armour-plated body – it is covered with bony plates. It has a suckermouth and a flattened, wide head. The male has fleshy tentacles, similar to spines, on his head. The female has much smaller tentacles on her nose. It can be brown, grey, grey, golden, or albino, with tiny white or yellowish spots.
Continue reading “Bristlenose Catfish”
The Black Pacu (Colossoma macropomum) is a tropical freshwater fish in the Serrasalmidae family – it is a serrasalmid fish, meaning ‘serrated salmon family.’ It is also known as the Tambaqui and the Black-Finned Pacu. It is a characin fish, like the Tetra.
The Black Pacu is similar in shape to the Piranha because it is laterally compressed with large eyes and a slightly arched back. It has molar-like teeth, similar to human teeth (not sharp teeth like the Piranha). The lower part of its body is blackish, and the rest of its body is grey, yellowish, or olive. Its fins are black.
Continue reading “Black Pacu”
The Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) is an endangered tropical marine (saltwater) fish.
The Banggai Cardinalfish is pale whitish-beige with black vertical bands. It has a black vertical band running through its eyes. It has a long dorsal fin behind a smaller tasseled fin. Its pelvic fins are broad. It has a deeply-forked tail. Along its tail and across its body are a series of small white spots.
Continue reading “Banggai Cardinalfish”
The Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius) is a bony marine (saltwater) fish. It is commonly known as the Angler in the Lophiidae family of monkfish.
The Anglerfish is mainly all head and hardly any body. It has no scales. Its head is large, broad, and flat. It has a fleshy growth from it head, called the esca or illicium, which acts like a lure. The esca, or illicium, is commonly known as the ‘fishing rod.’ It has a very wide mouth with jaws that have long pointed teeth. Its teeth point inwards. It has long filaments along the middle of its head.
Its pectoral and pelvic fins act like legs, and it can walk along the bottom of the sea. It has fringes on its head and body that look like seaweed, so that it can be camouflaged in its environment.
Continue reading “Anglerfish”
The Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum) is a marine (saltwater) reef fish.
The Sailfin Tang is beige with broad, yellow stripes and darker bands. It has yellow dots and stripes on the darker bands. It has a dark band with yellow dots across its eyes and another dark band behind its eye. It can turn dark-brown when it is stressed. It has a disc-shaped or round body. It has an extended snout (nose). It has a fin across the top of its body, called a sailfin. It has a yellow tail.
Continue reading “Sailfin Tang”
The Armoured Shrimp (Atya gabonensis) is a freshwater crustacean. It is also known as the African Fan Shrimp, the African Filter Shrimp, the Cameroon Armoured Shrimp, or the Blue Rhino Shrimp. It is related to the crab and the lobster.
The Armoured Shrimp can vary in colour from creamy-white to rusty brown and deep blue.
Continue reading “Armoured Shrimp”
The Broadbent’s Frogfish (Batrachomoeus trispinosus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Three-Spined Frogfish or the Broadbent’s Toadfish. Both of the terms Toadfish and Frogfish are frequently used.
The Broadbent’s Frogfish has a scaleless mottled brown body with sharp spines on its back. Its eyes are set high on its forehead. It has a large, downward-curved mouth. It has small gills on the side of its head.
Continue reading “Broadbent’s Frogfish”
The Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) is a large brackish water or freshwater fish.
The Giant Gourami has pale to golden yellow scales with silvery, pale-blue stripes running vertically along its body. It has a rounded face and a hump above its eyes. It has thick lips. The female has thicker lips than the male.
Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Giant Gourami”
The Common Starfish (Asterias rubens) is also known as the Common Sea Star, because it is not a fish. It is a marine (saltwater) animal.
The Common Starfish is usually orange or brown. It has five arms that are broader at the base and become narrower at the tip. It has soft mounds called papulae on both the top side and underneath.
Continue reading “Common Starfish”
The Pearlscale Cichlid (Herichthys carpintis) is also known as the Lowland Cichlid or the Green Texas Cichlid. It is a freshwater fish.
The Pearlscale Cichlid has an oval-shaped body. It is blue-green with iridescent scales. It has red eyes. The female has a black blotch on its dorsal fin.
Continue reading “Pearlscale Cichlid”
The Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) is a marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Forceps Butterflyfish.
The Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish is a square-shaped fish with a long nose. It is bright yellow with a blue-black edge and a black spot near its tail. It is black above its eye and cream-beige below its eye.
Continue reading “Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish”
The Western Rainbowfish (Melanotaenia australis) is a small-to-medium-sized freshwater fish.
The Western Rainbowfish is silver with black stripes along the length of its body. It has a white stripe in between the black stripes. It has a bright red tail.
Continue reading “Western Rainbowfish”