ANIMAL A-Z…


Learn more about our amazing animal collection. Click on a letter below to find an animal or use our animal search:

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Cardinal, Banggai (Pterapogon kauderni)

Cardinal, Banggai
Cardinal, Banggai

The banggai is a small reef fish with elongated dorsal fins and a distinctive pattern with three black bars across the head and silvery body, black edges and white spots along the dorsal fins and white spots between the second and third black bars. Adults only reach 8cm including the tail, and you will often find this little fish in groups of up to 10 hiding in anemones, sea urchins and behind corals. These fish are mouth brooders


Fun Facts...

The male holds the fertilised eggs in his mouth until they hatch, and even allows the fry to stay in his enlarged lower jaw to keep them safe, only spitting them out when they get too big!

The Banggai cardinalfish is the only member of its family which is diurnal.

The courtship behaviour of this fish is often initiated by the female. Once she has chosen a mate she will isolate him from the rest of the colony by creating a spherical spawning site that is 50-60cm in diameter. 



Location...

Endemic to the reefs of the Banggai Islands off Sulawesi, Indonesia.



Habitat...

A variety of shallow tropical habitats, including coral reefs, sea grass beds and open areas of sand and rubbleAdults are usually found around the reefs and rubble areas, whereas youngsters will use sea grass beds to hide in. They will often also hide amongst the long spines of urchins, where they are protected from predators.



Diet...
Small crustaceans.

Endangered

Cardinal, Pyjama (Sphaeramia nematoptera)

Cardinal, Pyjama
Cardinal, Pyjama

The pyjama cardinal is a very colourful fish with a greenish-yellow face, bright red eyes and silver body covered with orange polka-dots. Its dorsal fin is often multi-coloured and they reach a maximum length of about 8.5cm


Fun Facts...

After the female has produced eggs the male cardinal stores them in his mouth for about a week until they hatch!



Location...

Found mainly in the Western Pacific from Java to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands then south to the Great Barrier Reef



Habitat...

Usually occupy rocky reef areas.



Diet...
Invertebrates, small fish and crustaceans

Not Evaluated

Carp, Common/Koi (Cyprinus carpio)

Carp, Common/Koi
Carp, Common/Koi

The common carp is the third most frequently introduced species in the world.

It can grow up to 120cm in length and weigh up to 60kg

It has small eyes, thick lips, large scales, two barbels at each corner of the mouth and strongly serrated spines in the dorsal and anal fins.

Wild common carp are usually olive green, brown or silver in colour where as Koi carp are an ornamental strain which are brightly coloured with orange, yellow and black markings.


Fun Facts...

Common carp can live up to age of about 50 and were a luxury food item in the middle and late Roman period, where the Romans used to keep them in storage ponds. 

Some ornimental breeding carp are valued  at $AUS400,000 and record prices have been close to one million dollars!

 



Location...

Wild stocks are found only in the Black, Caspian and Aral Sea basins. Domesticated stocks are found all over Europe, South America and parts of Africa and Asia.



Habitat...

Warm, deep slow-flowing and still freshwater such as rivers and lakes which drain into the seas.



Diet...
They have a varied diet from molluscs and crustaceans to zooplankton and plant matter.

Vulnerable

Carp, Mirror (Cyprinus carpio carpio)

Carp, Mirror
Carp, Mirror

The mirror carp was the first recorded mutation of the common carp and are very large fish which can reach lengths of 1.2metres and weigh up to 27kg! They have irregular, patchy scalation along the dorsal fin and lateral line which is thought to be a trait of how they were bred to make them easier to prepare for meals!


Fun Facts...

The biggest mirror carp ever to be recorded was said to weigh a mighty 7 stone!



Location...

Usually found in freshwater lakes and rivers around Europe and are particular abundant in Britain.



Habitat... Inhabits freshwater lakes and rivers.

Diet...
Feeds on aquatic insects and some plant matter.

Not Evaluated

Catfish, Coral (Plotosus lineatus)

Catfish, Coral
Catfish, Coral

The coral catfish has a brown body with cream coloured longitudinal bands. It can reach about 32cm in length and unusually, the second dorsal, caudal and anal fin are fused together, as in eels. The mouth is surrounded by four pairs of barbels and they have a venomous spine on the first dorsal and pectoral fins.


Fun Facts...

The venomous spine of this catfish is incredibly dangerous and can even be fatal to humans.



Location...

Found in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa, north to southern Japan and south to Australia.



Habitat...

This is the only catfish found in coral reefs, hence the name. Also found in estuaries, tide pools and open coasts.



Diet...
Feeds on crustaceans, molluscs, worm and small fish.

Not Evaluated

Catfish, Featherfin (Synodontis eupterus)

Catfish, Featherfin
Catfish, Featherfin

The featherfin catfish is an attractive fish with delicate lacy fins and polka dot patterning. It can swim upside down at will and can grow up to 30cm in length. They have a flatterned underside and triangular flanks which lead up to their sharp, spined dorsal fin that has lacy extensions on adults. They have pronounced barbels and are patterned with spots of brown and grey. They have huge feathery fins which give it its common name. 


Fun Facts...

This catfish is also called the featherfin squeaker as they can produce a squeaking sound by rubbing the spines of its pectoral fins into grooves on its shoulders. It does this to warn off predators and competitors during spawning time.



Location...

Found across northeast Africa and western Africa.



Habitat...

Inhabits muddy bottoms and of moderately fast flowing, freshwater rivers.



Diet...
Feeds on insect larvae, algae and any other food they can scavenge.

Least Concern

Catfish, Glass (Kryptopterus bicirrhis)

Catfish, Glass
Catfish, Glass

The glass catfish grows up to about 15cm in length. It gets its name from its transparent appearance except for the head, bones and internal organs which can be clearly seen, located behind the head. They are transparent as they are scaleless and lack body pigment. They have two long barbels and the pectoral fins are longer than the head.


Fun Facts...

When the glass catfish dies, their bodies turn from transparent, to a milky white.



Location...

Native to river systems in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.



Habitat...

Inhabits large rivers with turbid waters but prefers fast flowing water or flooded fields.



Diet...
Feeds on small fishes, worms, crustaceans and insects.

Least Concern

Catfish, Zebra (Hypancistrus zebra)

A drawf species that reaches a maximum size of 3-1/2 inches in length. They are a nocturnal and shy fish and are only territorial towards their own species. They are bottom dwellers, and spend a lot of time in small, dark caves.
Fun Facts... They don't suck on driftwood like other suckers, they prefer meat!

Location... South America: Xingu River basin

Habitat... Murky rivers in South America.

Diet...
Insects, aquatic larvae, small shrimps, fruits and some meat.

Not Evaluated

Catshark, Small spotted (Scyliorhinus canicula)

Catshark, Small spotted
Catshark, Small spotted

The small spotted catshark is greyish-brown in colour and as its name suggests, covered by numerous small dark spots about the size of a pupil.

It can grow up to about a metre in length and has a prominent snout with large nostrils on the underside which connect to the mouth with a curved groove.


Fun Facts...

This species is also known as dog fish, rough hound and rock salmon, and lays eggs which are called 'mermaids purses'.



Location...

Distributed in the Northeast Atlantic from Norway and the British Isles, south to Senegal and the Mediterranean. 



Habitat...

Inhabits continental shelves and uppermost slopes on sandy, coralline, algal, gravel or muddy bottoms.



Diet...
Feed on molluscs, crustaceans, other benthic invertebrates and small fish.

Least Concern

Cavefish, Blind (Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus)

Cavefish, Blind
Cavefish, Blind

The blind cavefish is, as its name suggests, completely blind as it does not have any eyes. It also lacks pigmentation, taking on a pinkish shade from the blood vessels beneath its skin. The reason it lacks these features is because they are not necessary where this fish lives, in the deep caves in Mexico.  


Fun Facts...

Although totally devoid of eyes, they are brilliant navigators by using their lateral lines which are highly sensitive to changing water pressures. It is also thought that they can bounce sound waves off objects around them and have a fantastic sense of smell.



Location...

Native to the water systems in caves in Texas and Mexico.



Habitat...

Found in caves in underground lakes and streams.



Diet...
Preys on aquatic insects and shrimp

Not Evaluated

Chromis, Blue-green (Chromis viridis)

Chromis, Blue-green
Chromis, Blue-green
The blue-green chromis, also known as the blue-green damselfish, is known for its beautiful colouration. It has a light blue, iridescent dorsal side which fades into a pale green belly. It grows to about 10cm in length and has the name 'blue-green' as the colour seems to change as its body catches the light.
Fun Facts... The females will deposit their eggs into a males nest. The nesting male then turns yellow and fans the eggs with his tail until they hatch. 

Location... These fish are found in the Indo-Pacific and South Pacfic oceans, including the Red Sea. 

Habitat... Inhabitat reefs with branching corals and lagoons. 

Diet...
Phytoplankton, krill, brine, mysis shrimp.

Not Evaluated

Cichlid, Malawi (Assorted species)

Cichlid, Malawi
Cichlid, Malawi

There are many different types of cichlid that can be found in Lake Malawi, but generally, there are split into two groups: Mbuna cichlids and Peacock cichlids.

Mbuna means rock-dweller and these cichlids inhabit shallow and rocky regions around the shoreline. These cichlids are generally strong pastel colours and males are more vivid than the females. 

Peacock cichlids are found in the open waters and as the name suggests, display vibrant colouration. Female peacock cichlids are generally duller in colour and use camouflage to blend in with the background.

Cichlids all share a single key trait, they have 2 sets of jaws. The second set is a fusion of the pharyngeal bones (teeth-like structures), inside the mouth, which are used for processing food.


Fun Facts...

Many types of cichlids are mouth-brooders. The female takes the fertilised eggs in her mouth and will incubate and hatch the eggs in her mouth. When there is danger nearby, she allows the young to hide in her mouth.



Location...

This species is found only in Lake Malawi which is the most southern of the African Great Rift Lakes. It is shared by Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.



Habitat...

Mbuna cichlids dwell around the shoreline in rocky areas where-as peacock cichlids prefer the open water. The two different types rarely meet!



Diet...
Most cichlids are herbivorous, feeding on algae, but peacock cichlids will feed on zooplankton.

Not Evaluated

Cichlid, Pearl (Geophagus brasiliensis)

Cichlid, Pearl
Cichlid, Pearl

The pearl cichlid is pale brown, dark blue or puple in colour; their colours can change. They have one dark spot towards the tail and several black bands which run vertically down the body. It has bright blue speckles which shine all over its body and reddish fins. They can grow to about 30cm in length.


Fun Facts...

The pearl cichlid will change colour depending on its mood and during the mating season.



Location...

Native to river systems of eastern and southern Brazil and Uruguay, which drain into the Atlantic Ocean.



Habitat...

Inhabits rivers and coastal lagoons as some have evolved a degree of salt tolerance. They are found in both fast-flowing and stagnant water as well as both crystal clear and impenetrable water.



Diet...
Feeds on aquatic plants, invertebrates and larvae.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Black and white (Amphiprion ocellaris var.)

Clownfish, Black and white
Clownfish, Black and white
The black and white clownfish is also known as the black perc, black percula clown anemone fish or the black and white false percula clownfish. They have a jet black body with three white stripes. Youngsters are dark orange to brown in colour with a lighter face. They grow to about 7cm long.  
Fun Facts... All clownfish begin as males and only the large, dominant fish will change into a female. This is a variation of the common clownfish. 

Location... Found in the Coral Sea, north-east Australia. 

Habitat... Clownfish are found in coral reefs, particularly ones with anemone species. 

Diet...
Mainly zoo plankton and algae. They also feed on parasites from their host algae.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Bluestripe (Amphiprion chysopterus)

Clownfish, Bluestripe
Clownfish are also known as anemone fish due to their symbiotic nature with certain types of anemone.
Fun Facts...

Location...

Habitat...

Diet...


Not Evaluated

Clownfish, False percula (Amphiprion ocellaris)

Clownfish, False percula
Clownfish, False percula

The false percula clownfish, also know as the false clown anemonefish, gains it's name from looking a lot like the 'percula clownfish.' The colour pattern is very similar but, the false percula does not have as bright orange scales and the black outlines on the three white stripes are a lot thinner.

They grow to about 11cm in length and have 11 dorsal spines which is more than the percula who has about 9. 


Fun Facts...

These anemone dwelling fish wish often 'groom' their host and consume the parasites and debris that cling to the tentacles.



Location...

Found mainly in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea.



Habitat...

Will usually be found amongst their host anemones in tropical waters and coral reefs. 



Diet...
Feeds on invertebrates and plant debris.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Maroon (Premnas biaculeatus)

Clownfish, Maroon
Clownfish, Maroon

Maroon clownfish, also know as 'spinecheek anemonefish', are possibly the easiest clownfish to identify. They are bright red with three vertical bars which are bright white in males and grey in females, although they can in some individuals be yellow. They grow to about 7cm in length and the males are usually are more brightly coloured than the females.


Fun Facts...

Most clownfish live in anemones but this type of clownfish only lives in one type of sea anemone- the bubble tip. Here they will stay in a monogamous pair for several years, reproducing young.



Location...

Found mainly in the Indo-Pacific around Indonsesia, Thaiand and the northern coast of Australia.



Habitat...

Adult fish usually inhabit lagoon and reefs in protected coastal waters.



Diet...
Primarily feed on zooplankton and algae

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Percula (Amphiprion percula)

Clownfish, Percula
Clownfish, Percula

The percula clownfish grows to 11cm in length. They are mainly orange in colour with 3 white vertical stripes at the base of the tail, from the middle of the dorsal fin and on the neck. Thick black bands separate the white and orange stripes. Clownfish often hide from predators in particular species of anemone.


Fun Facts...

The clownfish avoids getting stung by the anemone as it secretes protective mucus. The clownfishes' predators cannot get the clownfish from behind the anemone's stinging tentacles!



Location...

Indo-Pacific region, ranging from northern Queensland to Melanesia.



Habitat...

Clownfish are found on coral reefs, in particular ones with particular species of anemones. All clownfish are born as males. As juvenilles, they will stay together in small groups, hiding amongst the corals and small anemones. As they grow, the largest of the group will become and female, and her and the next largest will pair together for life. Pairs of clownfish will often be territorial about their host anemone and the surrounding area.



Diet...
Algae, zooplankton, worms and small crustaceans.

Least Concern

Clownfish, Tomato (Amphiprion frenatus)

Clownfish, Tomato
Clownfish, Tomato

As you may guess from the name, this species is redder in colour than typical clownfish. This species has a black-edged white bar just behind the head and the body is sometimes black, especially in older individuals. They can grow to 14cm in length, and females are usually larger. These clownfish prefer to nestle in purple anemones such as the bubble-tip anemone.


Fun Facts...

As they grow, the largest of the group will become a female, and her and the next largest will pair together for life.

Spawning occurs on a full moon. 

Pairs of clownfish will often be territorial about their host anemone and the surrounding area.

As juveniles, they will stay together in small groups, hiding amongst the corals and small anemones.

 



Location...

Tropical reefs in the Western Pacific: Gulf of Thailand to south-western Palau, North to Southern Japan and South to Java, Indonesia.



Habitat...

Clownfish are found on coral reefs, in particular ones with particular species of anemones.  



Diet...
Varied diet of zooplankton and algae.

Not Evaluated

Cockroach, Madagascar hissing (Gromphadorhina portentosa)

Cockroach, Madagascar hissing
Cockroach, Madagascar hissing

This species of cockroach is a shiny brown colour and oval shaped, with one pair of antennae and no wingsThey have pads and hooks on their feet that allow them to climb smooth surfaces. They are named after the ability to make a hissing sound by exhaling air through breathing holes on their abdomen called spiracles.They hiss when startled to scare off predators, to assert dominance and as part of their mating ritual.

 


Fun Facts...

Cockroaches are some of the most primitive insects on our planet as they have been around for approximately 350 million years!

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of the largest species of cockroach in the world!

If you were to cut a cockroaches head off then it would survive for around 2 weeks as it doesn't use its head to house its brain or breathing apparatus. It does, however, need it for the mouth parts so that it can eat.

 



Location...

Found all over Madagascar.



Habitat...

Forest floors amongst leaf litter and logs.



Diet...
Fruit and plant material

Not Evaluated

Coral, Mushroom (Discosoma spp.)

Coral, Mushroom
Coral, Mushroom
The mushroom coral is one of the most colourful corals, and can vary in size from 1 inch to a foot. They can vary in colour from blue and purple, to green and red.  Their oral disc can be smooth, bumpy or fuzzy in apprearance. Unlike true corals, they have a soft body with no hard skeleton and have no tentacles to catch food. This leads to them often being referred to as mushroom anemones.
Fun Facts... If they get too close to anemones, other corals or even invertebrate, they might start 'chemical warfare' which can end in death!

Location... Caribbean and Indo-Pacific oceans.

Habitat... Dead corals, rubble and coral reefs in low-current mid-depth waters.

Diet...
Plankton and small invertebrates.

Not Evaluated

Coral, Soft (Alcyonacea sp.)

Coral, Soft
Coral, Soft

Soft coral is distinguished from hard coral by the eight feather like tentacles on each polyp and lack of hard limestone skeleton. They often sway in the current and have a jelly like feel.

Soft corals are usually bright coloured and even after death, their skeleton keeps the colour. Some species of soft coral such as 'blue' coral, owes its colour to iron salts, whereas 'organ pipe' coral has a bright red skeleton


Fun Facts...

Although soft corals seem more vulnerable to predators than hard corals, in reality, they are not. They have spiky spicules which contain powerful toxins and act like thorns on a rose bush, making them distasteful or toxic to fish.



Location...

Soft corals are found on coral reefs all over the world but there are a high concentration in the Indo-Pacific and on the Great Barrier Reef.



Habitat...

Found alongside hard corals on coral reefs.



Diet...
Soft corals are mainly filter feeders and catch plankton with their tentacles.

Not Evaluated

Corydora, peppered (Corydoras paleatus)

Corydora, peppered
They are part of the catfish family and enjoy being in small groups of their own kind.
Fun Facts... This is a fish that doesn't have scales! They have two rows of bony plates, called scrutes, along the length of their body.

Location... South America - Amazon Basin. Parana River or Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uraguay.

Habitat... Slow-moving, shallow waters such as slow streams, tributaries, marshes and ponds.

Diet...
Small fish, shrimp, worms, crustaceans, plant matter, insects.

Not Evaluated

Cowfish, Longhorn (Lactoria cornuta)

Cowfish, Longhorn
Cowfish, Longhorn

The longhorn cowfish is a type of boxfish and gets its name from the horns which protrude from the front of its head, similar to a cow. It is possible that the function of these horns is to make it difficult for predators to swallow this fish. The colour of the longhorn cowfish varies and can be green, light orange, or yellow, with white or blue spots.  


Fun Facts...

The longhorn cowfish has poisonous skin and can also release toxins when stressed or scared.

They blow the sand to release prey! 



Location...

The longhorn cowfish is primarily found in the Indo-Pacific region. This species can also be found in the Red Sea and off east Africa



Habitat...

The longhorn cowfish primarily occupies coral reefs in lagoons, but may also be found in muddy or sandy habitats in bays, harbours and estuaries



Diet...
Omnivores: eat algae, worms, sponges, small crustaceans and small fish.

Not Evaluated

Crab, Shore (Carcinus maenas)

Crab, Shore
Crab, Shore

The shore crab is one of the most common crabs in North Europe and Britain and because of this is also know as the common shore crab.

It is usually dark green in colour, with the young sometimes having whitish blotches. The carapace (shell) is wider than it is long and the first pair of legs carry the pincers which are often darker in colour. The width of the carapace usually is about 8cm in width.


Fun Facts...

Before breeding the female must moult and until she does this the male carries her underneath his body for a number of days so he does not lose her!



Location...

Found around the coasts of Britain and Ireland and the coasts of north-west Europe.



Habitat...

Inhabit rock-pools around the coasts.



Diet...
Feeds on invertebrates such as worms, molluscs and small crustaceans.

Not Evaluated
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