Plagiotremus rhinorhyncos.    Bluestriped fangblenny.

Plagiotremus rhinorhyncos.    Bluestriped fangblenny.

Class: Actinopterygii   Order: Blenniiformes   Family: Blenniidae   Genus: Plagiotremus          Size: to 12 cm

Adults inhabit clear, coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs and it is fairly common on both coral and rocky reefs, usually occurring singly or in pairs. They  hide in deserted worm tubes or other small holes. Its opioid-containing venom helps it escape, as it gives a pain-free bite which also dulls the host's reactions.

 Indo-Pacific. Micronesia, Marquesas and Society Islands in French Polynesia, South Japan and Great Barrier Reef.

Ostracion cubicus.    Yellow Boxfish.   Pesce scatola giallo.

Ostracion cubicus.    Yellow Boxfish. Juvenile

Class: Actinopterygii    Order: Tetradontiformes     Family: Ostraciidae     Genus: Ostracion    Size: 3-8  cm

When juvenile, it is bright yellow in color. As it ages, the brightness fades and very old specimens will have blue-grey to black colouration with faded yellow. It feeds mainly on algae, but will also feed on sponges, crustaceans and molluscs. Solitary, Ostracion cubicus inhabits coastal, lagoon and outer reef to 35 m. When stressed or injured it releases the neurotoxin tetrodoxin from its skin that may prove lethal to the fish in the surrounding waters

 Indo-Pacific. Micronesia, Marquesas and Society Islands in French Polynesia, South Japan and Great Barrier Reef.

Ostracion cubicus.    Yellow Boxfish.   Pesce scatola giallo.

Lactoria fornasini.     Thornback cowfish. Juvenile.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order:  Tetradontiformes    Family: Ostraciidae    Genus: Lactoria    Size: to23  cm 

The thornback cowfish has hexagonal, plate-like scales which are fused together to form a solid, box-like carapace, from which the eyes, mouth, fins and tail protrude. The mouth is small and has protruding lip. It is a poisonous species of boxfish.

Red Sea and East Africa eastward through Indonesia to Marquesas,

Opistognathus rosenblatti.     Blue-spotted jawfish.

Opistognathus rosenblatti.     Blue-spotted jawfish.

Class: Actinopterygii   Family: Opistognathidae     Genus: Opistognathus.    Size: to 10 cm

The blue-spotted jawfish have an electric-blue spotting over a yellow or orange body with an elegant yellow dorsal fin. They have large eyes that make them look as "alien". Jawfish are named for their large mouths, which allow them to catch food.

Gulf of California.

Acanthemblemaria crockery.    Browncheek blenny.

Acanthemblemaria crockery.    Browncheek blenny. 

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Blenniiformes    Family: Chaenopsidae     Size: to 6 cm

The browncheek blenny is a species of chaenopsid blenny found in coral reefs in the Gulf of California, in the eastern central Pacific ocean.  This species feeds primarily on zooplankton.

Gulf of California.

Platax pinnatus.         Pinnate Spadefish.     Pesce pipistrello.

Platax pinnatus.         Pinnate Spadefish.  Small Juvenile 

Class: Actinopterygii    Order: Perciformes     Family: Ephippidae      Genus: Platax                     Size: to 12 cm

Small juveniles black with brilliant orange-red margin around body and fins. Small juveniles mimic flatworms and are found around caves, ledges and mangroves of sheltered inner reefs.

West Pacific. Sumatra in indonesia to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Figji. Japan to N.Australia and Caledonia.

Nemateleotris magnifica.   Fire goby.

Nemateleotris magnifica.   Fire goby.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Gobiiformes     Family: Gobiidae.    Genus: Nemateleotris   Size: to 9 cm

They usually have a bright yellow head, merging into a white body, gradually shading into a red-orange tail. Their dorsal fins are very long. Adults occupy sandy burrows alone or in pairs, while the juveniles live in small groups. 

Indian and Pacific oceans from the eastern coast of Africa to the Hawaiian Islands

Canthigaster valentini.     Valentin's sharpnose puffer.

Canthigaster valentini.     Valentin's sharpnose puffer.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Tetraodontiformes    Family: Tetraodontidae      Size: to 11 cm

Canthigaster valentini are gonochoric, approximately half of the population being male and the other half being female, distinguishable by external characteristics. Dominant males breed exclusively with the females in their territory and maintain territorial boundaries. The toxin found in C. valentini as well as in other pufferfish species is one of the most potent naturally occurring toxins.  It is a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin present in the skin and other tissues of C. valentini. It is lethal to many species of fish.

 Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Micronesia, Japan, Australia and French Polynesia.

Canthigaster valentini.     Valentin's sharpnose puffer.

Canthigaster valentini. The toxin found in Canthigaster  valentini, as well as in other pufferfish species, is one of the most potent naturally occurring toxins. It is a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin present in the skin and other tissues of C. valentini. It is lethal to many species of fish.

Plagiotremus tapeinosoma.      Mimic blenny.

Plagiotremus tapeinosoma.      Mimic blenny.

Class: Actinopterygii    Order: Blenniiformes    Family: Blenniidae    Genus: Plagiotremus   Size: to 13 cm

Adults inhabit clear lagoon and seaward reefs, usually the lower surge zone to deeper areas. They hide in deserted worm tubes when alarmed. They feed by attacking other fishes and removing dermal tissue, mucus and sometimes scales.

Indo-Pacific. Red Sea, East Africa, French Polynesia, Micronesia and Great Barrier Reef. 

Pleurosicya micheli.     Michel's ghost goby.

Pleurosicya micheli.     Michel's ghost goby.

Class: Actinopterygii    Order: Blenniiformes    Family: Gobiidae    Genus: Plagiotremus    Size: to 2.5 cm

Pleurosicya micheli  inhabit coastal reef slopes, usually on hard corals to about 30 meters depth. Sometimes found on the mantle of clams and eggs are usually laid on ascidians.

Indo-Pacific: Seychelles to Fiji and the Hawaiian Islands.

Pleurosicya micheli.     Michel's ghost goby.

Pleurosicya micheli.  Translucent with reddish brown mid-lateral stripes and white marking along spinal column. Solitary. On wide variety of hard corals.

Pterapogon kauderni.       Banggai Cardinalfish.

Pterapogon kauderni.       Banggai Cardinalfish.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Kurtiformes     Family: Apogonidae     Genus: Pterapogon   Size: to 6.5 cm

White to cream with white spotting, three white-edged black bars through eye.

It is easily differentiated from all other cardinalfishes by its tasseled first dorsal fin, elongated anal and second dorsal fin rays, deeply forked caudal fin. It inhabits a variety of shallow habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and open areas of sand and rubble

Localized: Banggai Island and Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Sphaeramia nematoptera.   Pajama Cardinalfish.  Pesce cardinale pigiama.

Sphaeramia nematoptera.       Pajama Cardinalfish.

Class: Actinopterygii      Order: Kurtiformes        Family: Apogonidae      Genus: Sphaeramia     Size: to 8 cm

Pajama cardinalfish display a rainbow of colors. They have greenish-yellow faces, bright orange eyes, and silver-based bodies dressed with a bold black scalar margin and posteriors dotted with orange polka dots. Shelter among branching coral thickets of protect bays and lagoons. Form aggregations.

West Pacific. Java in Indonesia to Palau and Phonpei in Micronesia and Fiji.  S.W. Japan to Grat Barrier Reef.

Cromileptes altivelis.     Barramundi cod.

Cromileptes altivelis.     Barramundi cod.  Juvenile

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Perciformes    Family: Serranidae    Genus: Cromileptes     Size: to 6.5 cm

White to cream with white spotting, three white-edged black bars through eye.

White with fewer and larger black spots on head, body and fins than adult. Reclusive, hide near or in reef crevices and caves. Swim with unusual undulating motion similar to juvenile Sweetlips. 

West Pacific. East Malaysian Peninsula to Australia and New Caledonia.

Inimicus didactylus.   Devil stinger.

Inimicus didactylus.   Devil stinger.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Scorpaeniformes     Family: Synaceiidae     Genus: Inimicus.    Size: to 18 cm

Upturned snout and bulbous eyes set on top of head. Fan like pectoral fins, dorsal fin with isolated spiky spines except 1st and 3rd connected with membrane. Solitary or in pairs. Sand rubble, silt and mud of protected inshore reefs.

Asian Pacific. Thailand,China, Indonesia, Australia and New Caledonia.

Epinephelus fasciatus.      Blacktip grouper.

Epinephelus fasciatus.      Blacktip grouper.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Perciformes     Family: Serranidae      Genus: Epinephelus     Size: 22- 40 cm

The tips of the spines of the dorsal fin are black. The caudal fin is rounded. They are quite changeable in their color, ranging from pale greenish grey to pale reddish yellow or pinkish. It is found associated with coral reefs from 4 m deep (more commonly from 15 m) up to 160 m, in both marine and brackish water, sometimes in groups of 10-15 individuals

Indo-Pacific area from the Red Sea to South Africa and Australia to Pitcairn Islands.

Platax batavianus.    Batavia Spadefish.

Platax batavianus.    Batavia Spadefish.  Juvenile

Class: Actinopterygii      Order: Perciformes      Family: Ephippidae      Genus: Platax           Size: to 5 cm

Intricate pattern of black and white bands cover small body and greatly elongate dorsal, anal and ventral fins. 

West Pacific. Sumatra in indonesia to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Figji. Japan to N.Australia and Caledonia.

Platax orbicularis.      Circular Spadefish.

Platax orbicularis.      Circular Spadefish.   Juvenile

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Perciformes     Family: Ephippidae     Genus: Platax    Size: to 8 cm

Brown, rear half of body darker brown. Brown eye bar and another bar throughout pectoral and ventral fins. Smaller juveniles orange brown  with narrow bar through eye. 

Indo-Pacific. Red Sea and E.Africa to Indonesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Calloplesiops altivelis.    Comet.

Calloplesiops altivelis.    Comet.

Class: Actinopterygii        Family: Plesiopidae         Genus: Calloplesiops.     Size: to 13 cm

Adults are usually found near reefs, and in caves and crevices along drop-offs. The comet is nocturnal by nature, and will hide under ledges and in holes by day. During night time, it leaves its hiding place and swims along the reef searching for food. They possess an eye-like shape which is actually the dorsal fin. 

Indo-Pacific. Red Seaand E.Africa.  Central-Pacific. S.W. Japan to Australia.

Calloplesiops altivelis.    Comet.

As you seen in this photograph, Calloplesiops altivelis, when in danger, will poke its head into a hole and expose its tail end, which mimics the head of the Whitespotted moray eel.

Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides.      Spotted Sweetlips

Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides.      Spotted Sweetlips. Juvenile 

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Perciformes     Family: Haemulidae        Genus: Plectorhinchus.    Size: to 4-10 cm

Brown with large white spots with dark borders. Solitary, remain close to shelter. Swim with peculiar undulating motion. Very small individuals possibly mimic toxic flatworms.

Indo-West Pacific. Maldives to Fiji. S.W. Japan to Australia.

Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus.   Pixy Hawkfish.

Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus.   Pixy Hawkfish.

Class: Actinopterygii     Order: Perciformes     Family: Cirrhitidae     Genus: Cirrhitichthys      Size: to 9.5 cm

White undercolor with irregular red-brown spots on body and fin. Coastal, lagoon and outer reef to 40 m.

Indo-Pacific Red Sea and E.Africa to Panama. Micronesia and Australia.

Paolo Cudicini

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