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Logperch (Percina caprodes)

The Logperch or Percina caprodes is sometimes known as the Common Logperch, Manitou Darter and the Zebra Fish. This is one of the eleven different species of Logperch from the Percidae family. This is the most widespread of the Logperches and is found in many places in the eastern United States and Canada. They typical inhabit gravel streams or lakes and can grow to about 7" (18cm) in length. As you can see in the pictures, they have a skinny body that is covered with vertical bars and a subterminal mouth, which simply means pointing downward, towards the bottom. These fish are scavengers that will  turn over as many as ten small rocks per minute searching for food.  You can watch these hard workers, as well as some other unidentified species in the video below.

 
Logperch are not listed as an endangered species, but increasing damming and the introduction of the invasive species the Round Goby makes them very vulnerable.  Like other Darters, they are not schooling fish and are often seen alone or in a small group.  They are an important part of the ecosystem and fall prey to birds, Largemouth Bass, Lake Trout, Walleye, Pike, Rock Bass and Burbot.  They are edible, but are not normally caught by fisherman due to their small size.     
POP QUIZ: Can you name the other species of fish in the video featured above?




Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion akallopisos)


The Skunk Clownfish or Amphiprion akallopisos is a peaceful saltwater fish that is found in the Indo-Pacific.  This species of Clownfish is also known as the Nosestripe Anemonefish and has a very special relationship with its best friend the anemone.  The Skunk Clownfish has an immunity in their skin which allows them to make their home inside the stinging tentacles of an anemone.  They will actually defend it from other would be dwellers.  The female of this species will not only charge and try to intimidate potential invaders, but will also use sounds to defend the anemone.  They produce a series of pops and chirps that scare off the other fish.  In return for living space the anemone is given fish waste which it feeds on and is kept clean of parasites. 

Skunk Clownfish can grow to about 3" (75mm) in length and are often kept in an aquarium setting.  They are easily identified by a white stripe that runs on the top of their bodies, from their lips to their tail.  Like other species of Clownfish, they are considered to be quite easy to take care of, but this kind does require an anemone to make its home.  In the wild this fish is found in shallow inshore reefs as deep as 15 meters with a moderate to strong current.  They will feed on small crustaceans, live foods, algae and vegetable based foods.  You can learn a little more about the Skunk Clownfish and some other amazing underwater symbiotic relationships in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the Skunk Clownfish please leave us a comment below.



Kwi Kwi (Hoplosternum littorale)


The Kwi Kwi or Hoplosternum littorale is a species of Armoured Catfish from the Callichthyidae family. This fish features an armor-plated body that protects itself from potential predators. These freshwater fish go by several different names throughout the world including, Tamuatá, Atipa, Hassar, Cascadu, Busco and Currito.

This species of catfish can grow to about 9-1/2" (24cm) in length, with the males tending to be a bit larger then the females. Originally found in South America, this fish has been spotted in Florida and is also becoming more and more popular in an aquarium setting. Believe it or not, this fish can breathe both with gills and through its intestines and is a very lively, entertaining fish! They can grow to about 4 years old and are nocturnal feeders, munching on crustaceans, larvae and aquatic insects.

 Kwi Kwi reproduce after the first year, with spawning normally being triggered by the first rains and occurs in the warm and rainy season. Like other callichthyine, this fish builds a bubble nest. This species is said to have one of the most complex nest structure. This bubble nest is designs to be rich with oxygen which helps the eggs develop even in poor water conditions. It also provides protection from potential predators. You can check out a Kwi Kwi building a bubble nest in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the Kwi Kwi please leave us a comment below.


Vampire Tetra (Hydrolycus scomberoides)

Like something out a fishy nightmare the Vampire Tetra or Hydrolycus scomberoides has extra long sharp teeth that protrude out of its mouth like that of a vampire. They use the two largest fangs to impale their unsuspecting prey with amazing speed!  Also know as the Sabertooth Tetra or Payara, this freshwater fish can be kept in an aquarium and can grow to be VERY large. Under the right conditions, these fish can grow to several feet in length and weigh in at over 30lbs! They are not the easiest to care for and require lots of filtration and regular water changes, as well as lots of live foods. Vampire Tetra are of the tropical variety and require a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees in an aquarium of 100 gallons or more.   These fish originate from South America where they are caught in the waters of the amazon basin. 

Like the Piranha and Snakehead, one of the best parts of owning this type of aggressive carnivorous fish is feeding time!  Here is some footage of the Vampire Tetra being fed goldfish.


If you have any additional information about the Vampire Tetra please leave us a comment below.

Sand Diver (Synodus intermedius)

The Sand Diver or Synodus intermedius is one of the more common species of Lizardfish.  This saltwater fish from the Synodontidae family can grow to 18" (45cm) in length and is cigar shaped.  These fish will vary in color quite a bit as they can actually change coloration to match their backgrounds.  They can often be identified by a dark spot on the gill cover.
Sand Divers are found in the Western Atlantic Ocean and in the Gulf Of Mexico.  These fish will bury themselves in the sand and wait for a potential meal to swim by, then strike with lightning speed and razor sharp teeth.  They are also known as the Intermediate Lizardfish, Sanddiver Lizardfish and Filamented Sand Dragon.  You can learn a bit more about the Sand Diver in the video below.

 

If you have any additional information about the Sand Diver please leave us a comment below.



Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)


The Red Lionfish or Pterois volitans is a venomous saltwater fish from the Scorpaenidae family that is found primarily in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This species of Lionfish has been introduced into the Atlantic Ocean and due to the fact that it has no natural predators, it is considered to be an invasive species.

As you can see in the pictures, the Redlionfish has series of venomous dorsal spines that it uses to defend itself from those unlucky enough to get too close. Although the venom from this fish is not considered deadly to humans, it is recommended that you seek medical attention and soak the area in hot water. Those stung can experience difficultly breathing as well as vomiting, headaches and extreme pain. You can learn more about the dangers on the Red Lionfish in the video below. 


There are not many predators of the Red Lionfish, but Nassau and Tiger Groupers have been reported to be able to ingest them. This Lionfish will feed on almost anything they can fit their mouths around. These fish will swallow their prey whole after they corner them with their large fins. This species of Lionfish is nocturnal, feeding from dusk till dawn.  They can grow to about 15" in length and live for 10 years. 

 If you have any additional information about the Red Lionfish please leave us a comment below.

Spotted Drum (Equetus punctatus)

The Spotted Drum or Equetus punctatus is a saltwater fish that has quite the transformation as it grows older. When this fish is a juvenile they have a long dorsal fin and tail that changes as the fish thickens up, and developes spots on their tail and 2nd dorsal fin. Pictured below is a juvenile Spotted Drum, you can really appreciate the amazing transformation this fish undergoes by comparing the two pictures.

Spotted Drum fish occasionally make their way into the aquarium trade and are said to be a great addition to a reef tank. They are healthy eaters and will also hold their own against other potentially aggressive tankmates. These fish can grow to about 10" in length and are found in the Western Atlantic Oceans tropical waters, in and around reefs.  They are nocturnal feeders who hide most of the day and come out to feast during the night hours.  You can watch a Spotted Drum swimming in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the Spotted Drum including tips for keeping them in an aquarium please share in the comments below.

Striped Eel Catfish (Plotosus lineatus)


The Striped Eel Catfish or Plotosus lineatus is a saltwater fish found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These fish have two parallel white lines running down the sides of their bodies. They have long second dorsal and anal fins that merge with their caudal fin to give them the eel like appearance. You can experience what it is like to swim with the Striped Eel Catfish in the video below.


This species is also known as the Saltwater Catfish or Coral Catfish and is from the Plotosidae family of Catfishes. They can be kept in an aquarium, but be warned these fish have venomous spines so please handle with extreme care. These fish can grow to 12" (300mm), so a fairly large aquarium is recommended.

In the wild when the Striped Eel Catfish is young they will form dense schools of fish in a ball shape to make themselves seem larger to potential predators and to feed. As they grow older they lose this community attitude and separate themselves from the pack. Like other catfish, they feed on the bottom with their barbels searching for a meal by sifting through the sand for crustaceans, worms and very small fish.

If you have any additional information about the Striped Eel Catfish please leave us a comment below.


Purple Chromis (Chromis scotti)


The Purple Chromis or Chromis scotti is a popular saltwater aquarium fish found at most local pet shops. This species of Chromis is from the Pomacentridae family, which also includes Damsels and Clownfish. They are found in the Western Atlantic Ocean and can grow to about 4" in length.  These fish are suitable for an aquarium of 30 gallons or more with the following water conditions, Specific Gravity Range 1.020-1.024, pH Range 8.0-8.4 and Temperature Range 75-82F.

Purple Chromis are omivores that should be fed a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, fresh or frozen algae and meaty foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, planktons, krill, shrimp and scallops. They are generally a peaceful fish, but once they become accustomed to an aquarium they can turn out to be quite territorial. You can check out the Purple Chromis as well as some other saltwater aquarium fish in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the Purple Chromis please leave us a comment below.



Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus)


The Sand Tiger Shark or Carcharias taurus is found in coastal waters worldwide. They are often seen in and around sandy beaches. This species of saltwater fish goes by several different names including the Spotted Ragged Tooth Shark, Blue Nurse Sand Tiger and the Grey Nurse Shark. Reaching just over 11 feet (3.4 meters) these sharks will feed on crustaceans, squid, skates and small bony fish. Despite its fearsome looking teeth, this shark is relatively harmless and slow moving.  You can learn a little more about the Sand Tiger Shark in the video below from the Discovery Channel. 


The Sand Tiger Shark has a couple odd characteristics that distinguish it from other species of shark. They actually have the ability to breath air from the surface which allows it to float near the surface with ease. They also have small eyes that have no eyelids.  Not only this, but they also practice intrauterine cannibalism, which means that during pregnancy the developed embryo will feed upon its siblings!

This shark is kept in many aquariums throughout the world and does very well in captivity. Unfortunately, like so many other creatures in the ocean, this species is listing as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. If you have any additional information about the Sand Tiger Shark please leave us a comment below.

Sailfin Blenny (Emblemaria pandionis)


The Sailfin Blenny or Emblemaria pandionis is a saltwater fish that is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean including the Gulf Of Mexico. This is just one of the over 700 different species of Blenny in the world.  They are very small, only growing to about 2-1/2" (7cm). This fish gets its name from its impressive dorsal fin which it displays perhaps to make it seem larger, and harder to fit in a potential predators mouth. You can see the Sailfin Blenny with your own eyes underwater in the video below.


The Sailfin Blenny is found in relatively shallow waters of up to 39 feet (12 meters). They make their homes in holes in the coral or empty worm holes. They spend most of their lives in these holes and only come out for brief periods of time.

If you have any additional information about the Sailfin Blenny including tips for keeping them in an aquarium please leave us a comment below.

Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus)


The Broadnose Sevengill Shark or Notorynchus cepedianus is part of the Hexanchidae family and gets its name from the seven gill slits along the sides of its head. Most sharks have only five gill slits, with the exception of a very small few with six. This species of saltwater fish can grow to about 9-1/2 feet (2.9 meters) and has a large, thick body, with a broad head and blunt snout. Their teeth are jagged on top, with comb-shaped teeth on the bottom. The body and fins have small white and black spots scattered throughout.

Like many other species of sharks, the sevengill is counter-shaded which means its dorsal surface is silver-gray to brown in order to blend with the dark water and substrate when viewed from above. In contrast, its ventral surface is very pale, blending with the sunlit water when viewed from below. These sharks are ovoviviparous and can give birth to over 80 pups in a single litter! Broadnose Sevengill Sharks are not picky eaters and will feed on smaller sharks and fish, rays, chimaeras, cetaceans, pinnipeds and carrion.

You can swim with the Broadnose Sevengill Shark in the video below.


If you have any additional information about the Broadnose Sevengill Shark please leave us a comment below.

Cuckoo Catfish (Synodontis multipunctatus)

The Cuckoo Catfish or Synodontis multipunctatus at first glance seems like your average freshwater catfish, but they have a very devious side. In the wild this species will attack cichlid's nesting places devouring their eggs. As if that wasn't bad enough, they will also drop some of their own eggs into the nesting place where the unsuspecting mother will take care of them in her mouth along with her remaining eggs. The Cuckoo Catfishes eggs will hatch before the cichlids and then the real terror begins. The much bigger Cuckoo Catfish babies will feast on the other eggs and baby cichlid fish as they hatch inside the mother's mouth! Once they are done feasting they come out of their "mothers" mouth and the unsuspecting cichlid fish actually believe them to be their own!  They will take care of the baby Cuckoo Catfish until they are big enough to fend for themselves. Don't believe me? See it for yourself in the amazing video below from National Geographic!



When the Cuckoo Catfish is not in the wild it is far less sinister. Also known as Cuckoo Synodontis or the Multi-spotted Catfish, they are often kept in a freshwater aquarium and are said to be quite easy to take care of provided they have plenty of places to hide. This species of Catfish can grow to about 10" (25cm), and will accept flakes, pellets and a variety of fresh and frozen foods. If you have any additional information about the Cuckoo Catfish please leave us a comment below.

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