Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coral Bay experience (7) - Other fishes II

This is my third post (and I guess should be my last post) about the fishes I saw in Coral Bay.

White-spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari)
This species is said to move around in large schools but I saw only one. An interesting fact about it is that it can reach about 800 cm in length, including tail. So I suppose a large portion of that is the length of its tail. I always wonder why they need such a long tail.

Female spotted boxfish (Ostracion meleagris)

Convict surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus)
Algal grazers on the reef. They get their name from the sharp spines on both sides of the tail base. Many websites say that the spines can be as sharp as scalpel blades!

Surf parrotfish (Scarus rivulatus)
Colorful residents on the reef. Parrotfishes play a role in bottom sediment formation in a reef system by ingesting coral rock, grinding them to powder and passing it out with their feces. Anyway, one interesting fact that I just learned is that they sleep in a cocoon-like mucus envelope that they make. And the envelope is supposed to mask their scent, protecting them from predators like the moral eel.


Mosura said...

Fantastic - especially that White-spotted Eagle Ray. Must have been great to have seen it!

Denis Wilson said...

HI Chai
Very lovely shot of the Eagle Ray.
Thanks for telling us about the Parrot Fishes covering themselves in mucous sacs before they go to sleep.
Who would have guessed?

Mosura said...

G'day - No need to publish this comment. I just thought I'd send you a link to this story:

Given your recent visit to the Ningaloo reef area I thought you'd find it of interest.