What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish?

What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini)?

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish are both marine (saltwater) fish in the same family – the Monacahnthidae family of Leatherjackets.

The Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer are both the same size, about 11 centimetres (4 inches) long, and swim together in the same small schools in the tropical reefs of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The Blacksaddle Filefish is a mimic of the Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer, so it is extremely difficult to distinguish one from the other.

Continue reading “What is the difference between the Blacksaddle Filefish and the Valentin’s Sharpnose Pufferfish?”

RESEARCH: Snakes know how much venom they have and they won’t attack if they don’t have enough

Not all snakes are venomous, but scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu wanted to know more about venomous snakes.

The researchers studied venomous Sharp-Snouted Pit Vipers (Deinagkistrodon acutus). The New Scientist magazine (22 June 2021) reported the research results.

The aggressive Sharp-Snouted Pit Viper may be able to sense how much venom it has and it won’t attack if it doesn’t have enough venom (poison). 

Previous research indicates that venomous animals, including spiders, scorpions, and snakes, use their venom frugally and carefully because they do not produce a lot of venom. However, previous research did not study the possibility of whether venomous snakes save their venom for specifc situations, such as self-defence.

Continue reading “RESEARCH: Snakes know how much venom they have and they won’t attack if they don’t have enough”

Is there a difference between poisonous and venomous snakes?

Is there a difference between poisonous and venomous snakes?

Venomous and poisonous sound similar in meaning, because they both have toxic substances—a toxin that is highly dangerous or deadly.

A poisonous snake secretes a poisonous toxin from the glands of its skin. When a predator tries to eat the snake, it tastes terrible. The toxin is a deterrent to predators, so that in the future the animal will not attack the snake. The North American Garter snake, the Asian Keelback Snake, and the Groove-Necked Keelback Snake are examples of poisonous snakes.

Continue reading “Is there a difference between poisonous and venomous snakes?”

Black-and-Red-Bug

The Black-and-Red-Bug (Lygaeus equestris) is an insect in the Lygaeidae family of ground bugs. 

The Black-and-Red Bug has a red-black pattern on its exoskeleton. Its hemelytra (front wings) are black and red with an oval-shaped white dot. It is also red and black on its scutellum (head shield). The scutellum has tiny hairs. It has fully-developed wings and long, strong legs. It antennae are long.It has a sucking mouthpart. 

Continue reading “Black-and-Red-Bug”

Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog

The Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas) is an endangered poisonous freshwater amphibian. It is also known as the Bumblebee Poison Frog.

The Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog has smooth skin with bright-yellow and black markings, such as stripes and spots. It has large dark eyes. It has webbed feet with one digit (toe) longer than the others. Its toes have sticky pads to help it climb trees. 

Continue reading “Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog”

CREATURE FEATURE: Phantasmal Poison Frog

The Phantasmal Poison Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is an endangered amphibian. It is a Poison Dart Frog. 

The Phantasmal Poison Frog has smooth, dark-red to red-brown skin with three yellow-white side stripes from its head to its tail. It has white spots on its hind (back) legs. It has large dark eyes. It has webbed feet with one digit (toe) longer than the others. 

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Phantasmal Poison Frog”

CREATURE FEATURE: Blue Poison Dart Frog

The Blue Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius azureus) is a medium-sized poisonous amphibian.

The Blue Poison Dart Frog has bright blue skin, with a darker blue belly and darker blue limbs. It has black spots. It has a hunched back. Each foot has four toes, with suction cups to grip surfaces. Males have heart-shaped tips on each toe, whereas females have rounded tips.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Blue Poison Dart Frog”

Haitian Sea Anemone

The Haitian Sea Anemone (Condylactis gigantean) is a tropical marine ball-type animal. It is also called the Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone. The Haitian Sea Anemone is found as individuals or small, loose groups, but never in colonies like coral. It is related to coral and jellyfish.

The Haitian Sea Anemone is a large columnar sessile (non-moving) animal of many colours: white, pink, orange, pale-red, or light-brown. Its body has an adhesive pedal (foot) disc, a cylindrical body, and a central mouth surrounded by 100 or more tentacles. The tentacles often have a coloured tip (such as purple or pink).

Continue reading “Haitian Sea Anemone”

Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer

The Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster valentini) is a tropical fish in the Tetraodontidae family. It is also known as the Saddled Puffer or Black Saddled Toby.

The Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer has a blue-grey head, and a white speckled body with blue-grey spots. It has four black stripes (called saddles) on its back. Its tail and fins are yellowish. It has rainbow stripes behind its eyes.

Continue reading “Valentin’s Sharpnose Puffer”

Rhinoceros Horned Viper

The Rhinoceros Horned Viper (Bitis nasicornis) is a venomous snake from West Africa and Central Africa. It is also called a Horned Puff Adder.

The Rhinoceros Horned Viper has a narrow, flat, triangular head with a distinctive set of two or three horn-like scales on the end of its nose. The front pair of horns is quite long. Its eyes are small and are in a forward position on its head. Its fangs are small, about 1.5 centimetres (half an inch) long.

Continue reading “Rhinoceros Horned Viper”

CREATURE FEATURE: Koppie Foam Grasshopper

The Koppie Foam Grasshopper (Dictyophorus spumans) is a southern African insect. Spumans means foam. It is also called the Rooibaadjie (Red Jacket) or the Foaming Grasshopper.

Its name comes from the grasshopper’s ability to produce a toxic (poisonous) foam from its thoracic glands (just behind its head). It eats the toxic milkwood plant, which makes the foam toxic too. This means that other animals don’t like to eat the Koppie Foam Grasshopper because it smells awful, tastes awful, and is poisonous.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Koppie Foam Grasshopper”

Egyptian Cobra

The Egyptian Cobra (Naja haje) is an African snake, and one of the largest cobra species. The largest is the Forest Cobra (Naja melanoleuca).

The colour of the Egyptian Cobra varies, but most are brown or coppery, or even black, often with lighter or darker mottling, and often a tear-drop mark below the eye.

The Egyptian Cobra has a large head. Its neck has long cervical ribs capable of expanding to form a hood, like all other cobras. The nose of the Egyptian cobra is broad and rounded. The eyes are quite big with round pupils. The body of the Egyptian Cobra is cylindrical and stout with a long tail.

Continue reading “Egyptian Cobra”

Eastern Green Mamba

The Eastern Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) is a large, venomous tree-dwelling (arboreal) snake.

The Eastern Green Mamba is bright green, and is camouflaged in the leaves of trees. It may have a few yellowish scales.

It doesn’t like moving along the ground, so it mainly stays in trees, where it can move quickly.

Its head is narrow, long, and coffin-shaped, with a distinct canthus. A canthus is either the outer or inner corner of the eye where the upper and lower eye-lids meet.

Continue reading “Eastern Green Mamba”