How many fish do you see in this video? Answers in the comments please. If you think you know the species (common name or scientific name), please add that too.
Part 19 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Fishes feeding.
In this video we look at ways that fish hunt and feed, mostly by collaborating in schools. At Richelieu Rock we first see a rhizostome jellyfish, Versuriga anadyomene, under attack from a scrawled filefish at Richelieu Rock in Thailand and then see a school of streaked spinefoots (Java rabbitfish, Siganus javus) preying on a jellyfish as rainbow runners, Elagatis bipinnulata, dart by.
We then encounter streaked spinefoots joining Singapore parrotfish, Scarus prasiognathus, feeding on algae on the coral reef at Staghorn Reef on Racha Yai near Phuket, and a school of blue-barred parrotfish, Scarus ghobban, feeding at Koh Bon.
At East of Eden in the Similan Islands, we find different types of fish collaborating in their hunt for prey. Goldsaddle goatfish (Parupeneus cyclostomus), bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus) and smalltooth emperors (Lethrinus microdon) make a spectacular sight as they gang up in their hunt for small fishes.
Fringelip mullet, Crenimugil crenilabis, are occasionally spotted in a school at Racha Noi, feeding by filtering organic matter from the sand.
At Koh Tachai, north of the Similan Islands, we see a variety of tropical fish that would do any aquarium proud, all gathered around a titan triggerfish, Balistoides viridescens, as it feeds.
We then meet the blackspotted puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, standing by at another feeding frenzy at Anemone Reef, then feeding alone at Richelieu Rock.
Finally we encounter a yellow trumpetfish, Aulostomus chinensis, firstly, riding, above a porcupinefish, and then hiding within a school of yellowfin goatfish so that it can more easily approach its prey.
Part 16 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”.
In this video we look at how fishes and other marine life avoid detection by predators and prey by using camouflage, mimicry or by simply hiding.
First we see how the pastel tilefish, Hoplolatilus fronticinctus, hides by diving into enormous piles of rubble that it has built at dive sites in the depths of the Mergui Archipelago in Burma (Myanmar).
Then we look at how the dwarf whipray, Himantura walga, and bluespotted stingray, Neotrygon kuhlii, camouflage themselves under sand on the seabed at various locations in Thailand including the Similan Islands.
The day octopus, Octopous cyanea, shows us how it ejects ink as a decoy so it can make its escape.
Mimicry is a clever way that marine life hides its presence. We see how the straightstick pipefish, Trachyrhamphus longirostris, mimics sea whips to avoid detection, and how the ornate ghost pipefish, Solenostomus paradoxus, can change its body coloration and orientation to mimic its surroundings.
The giant frogfish, Antennarius commerson, is an ambush predator. They mimic sponges and their slender dorsal spine, the illicium, is waved around like a tiny fishing rod. Bypassers attracted to the lure at the end of the illicium are engulfed by the huge mouth in a fraction of a second. They are also known as anglerfish.
Scorpionfish and stonefish are also ambush predators. They blend in perfectly with their environment so they can pounce on their unsuspecting prey, but have venomous spines as an extra defence. We see a moray eel colliding with a stonefish at Thailand’s Boonsung wreck.
Part 15 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”. Schooling fish.
In this video we see how marine fishes form shoals and schools. Fish form these aggregations primarily for defence from predators. First we see huge shoals and schools of cardinalfishes at dive sites in Thailand, including various locations around Phuket, Racha Yai, Racha Noi and the Similan Islands. Later we observe various species of fusiliers and snappers schooling in Burma’s Mergui Archipelago.
We then encounter various species of barracuda forming impressive schools at Racha Yai, Black Rock and Koh Tachai. At Western Rocky Island we see an impressive school of sawtooth barracuda forming a huge vortex.
We encounter a school of dogtooth tuna at Koh Tachai, a rare sight these days, and finally we meet schools of bigeye trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus, a common sight at Richelieu Rock, north of the Similan Islands.
Part 9 of my weekly series, “Reef Life of the Andaman”.
This episode features pretty, colorful, tropical reef fishes in the order Perciformes, including batfish, butterflyfish, angelfish and surgeonfishes. Much of the footage is from the Similan Islands.
Next Tuesday: Groupers and big fish