Wednesday, February 20

The Flamingo tongue snail – a beautiful and colorful sea creature.

a beautiful and colorful sea creature.
The flamingo tongue snail is a species of small but brightly colored sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Ovulidae, and the cowry allies. The scientific name of this colorful sea creature is Cyphoma gibbosum. It is from the family of Ovulidae and from the Class of Gastropoda. Although the live animal is brightly colored, which color is only in the soft parts but the shell itself is plain white.

A colorful sea animal
The Flamingo Tongue Snail, order of Neotaenioglossa and member of the phylum Mollusca, is a marine gastropod, lives sub-tidally and is common on many Caribbean and southern Atlantic coral reefs. It is about once inch long and depth is 30 feet. Flamingo tongue snails are recognized world wide as having beautiful and colorful shells. It is very popular and sold worldwide for jewelry products.

Many scuba divers make the mistake of thinking that the brightly colored spots are on the shell permanently but the color of the shell is due to the mantle of the animal inside the shell. When the animal dies, all that is left is the apricot colored shell. When alive, the snail appears yellow-orange with irregular shaped spots ringed in black. However, the mantle can be retracted, exposing the shell. This snail is extremely over-collected and must be protected.

We know that, corals are the foundation for all life on the tropical coral reef. It’s build entire islands, give the shelter to fishes, sea creatures and provide food for lots of sea animals but the Flamingo Tongue Snail is the only one animal that couldn't survive without corals.

The Flamingo Tongue Snail lives in the tropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Lesser Antilles. It can also be found from North Carolina, the Bermudas to Northern Brazil.

Wednesday, February 6

The Striped eel catfish - an interesting schooling fish of the Indian Ocean.

An interesting schooling fish of the Indian Ocean.
The Striped eel catfish is an interesting schooling fish from the family of Plotosidae. The Scientific name of this beautiful sea fish is Plotosus lineatus. It is also called as Catfish Eel, Eel-tailed Catfish, Lined Catfish, Striped Catfish Eel and Striped Eel Catfish. It is from the class of Actinopterygii and the genus name of the fish is Plotosus.

A pair of beautiful Striped eel catfish
A pair of beautiful Striped eel catfish
Juvenile specimens live in large schools with 100s of fish in them which is an entertaining display for the aquarist but while adults it is live in smaller groups. They grow up and become aggressive towards smaller fish and crustaceans. This is the only species of catfish that lives on coral reefs. Adults Striped eel catfish can be reach about 30cm long, those seen on the intertidal range from tiny ones about 1cm, to juveniles about 15cm long. The Body of the fish is long and cylindrical, flattening into an eel-like tail. It has a dark brown, black or even maroon body with lighter color on the underside. The juveniles have very striking white stripes along their bodies. These strikes are less pronounced or even gone completely in adult specimens.

a bunch of beautiful Striped eel catfish
A bunch of beautiful Striped eel catfish.
The Striped eel catfish is native to the Indian Ocean, the western Pacific Ocean and New Guinea. The species is primarily tropical but has been recorded down the east and west coasts of Australia to Sydney, New South Wales, Western Australia respectively. It lives in bays and estuaries where it is usually seen in dense schools.