Cichlids are cute little fish with a vicious appetite.

  • Cichlids are a family of fish, of small to medium size, with in excess of 1600 discovered species out of the estimated 2000 to 3000 in total.
  • The scientific name of a cichlid is Cichlidae, and it is from the suborder Labroidei, the suborder that also includes wrasses, surfperches and damselfish, among others.
  • Cichlids are found in freshwater regions in many countries across the globe, and they are native primarily to South America, southern North America and Africa, and some are also found in certain areas in Asia.
  • The size of cichlids ranges quite widely among species, from 2.5 to 100 centimetres (1 to 39.4 inches).
  • Cichlids are popularly kept in aquariums as pets, with many different hybrids bred specifically for the pet industry.
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A Cichlid
Image courtesy of Marcell Sigg/Flickr
  • The diet of cichlids, depending on the species, consists primarily of plants, fish – even from the same family, algae, parasites and insect larvae.
  • Cichlids are often fished as a sport, and some species are mass-bred for commercial reasons, commonly for food or as pets.
  • The colours of cichlids range from black, yellow, orange, green, blue, red, silver or white, and they are commonly patterned in their colouring.
  • An average of 200 eggs is produced by a female cichlid at one time, and the fry are generally cared for by both parents until the babies are capable of swimming alone.
  • Cichlids typically live to be 5 to 60 years of age; and fellow fish, eels, birds and humans are common predators.
Cichlid, 2015, A-Z Animals,
Cichlid, 2015, Wikipedia,


Common Barbel

Don’t get a common barbel in your face.

  • Common barbels are a species of smaller-sized fish mainly native to various countries in Europe.
  • The scientific name of a common barbel is Barbus barbus, and it is from the family Cyprinidae, the family of carps and minnows.
  • ‘Common barbels’ are also known as ‘barbels’, the broad name of the genus; and ‘pigfish’, from an English legend.
  • Common barbels inhabit freshwater locations such as rivers and lakes, and they are generally found in the water, close to the stony ground.
  • Common barbels grow to be 10 to 120 centimetres (4 to 47 inches) in length and weigh 1 to 12 kilograms (2 to 26 pounds).
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Common Barbel
Image courtesy of robposse/Flickr
  • The diet of common barbels consists primarily of fish, algae, larvae of insects and crustaceans.
  • The number of eggs produced by common barbels at one time is said to be in the thousands, for every kilogram of fish weight, due to the large quantity that are initially eaten by other water creatures.
  • Common barbels have a lifespan of up to 15 years, and they are commonly fished for sport, commercially grown for food, and used in the pet industry.
  • Common barbels can feature numerous small black spots, and they are generally coloured mainly brown or grey, with the addition of silver, white, and pink colours.
  • Although classified as least concerned, both pollution and habitat loss threaten some common barbel populations.
Barb, 2013, A-Z Animals,
Barbus barbus, 2014, Wikipedia,
Barbus barbus, 2015, IUCN Red List,
Binohlan C, Barbus barbus, n.d, Fish Base,


Australasian Snapper

A snappy Australasian snapper.

  • Australasian snappers are fish native to the ocean near Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and New Zealand.
  • ‘Australasian snappers’ are also known as ‘silver seabreams’, ‘snappers’, ‘cocknies’, ‘pinkies’, ‘queens’, ‘schnappers’ and ‘ruggers’.
  • The scientific name of an Australasian snapper is Pagrus auratus, from the family Sparidae, the family of sea bream, and despite its common name, it is not technically a snapper.
  • Australasian snappers can be found in waters near the coast, around underwater rocky landscapes, among reefs, and in depths of up to 200 metres (656 feet).
  • The lifespan of Australasian snappers can reach from 40 to 54 years; and young females may develop into males by adulthoood, although this is not common in some areas.

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  • Australasian snappers generally grow between 40 to 130 centimetres (16 to 51 inches) in length, and weigh between 10 to 20 kilograms (22 to 44 pounds).
  • Australasian snappers are among the most commonly eaten fish by humans in countries where they are found nearby, such as Australia.
  • The diet of Australasian snappers generally consists of crabs, shrimp, starfish, other fish, sea urchins and shellfish.
  • Australasian snappers can have scales ranging from red, pink, grey, silver or gold in colour, and mature adults develop an obvious hump on the top of their head.
  • Australasian snappers often cannot be legally caught for human consumption if they are less than 35 centimetres (14 inches) in length; and this is to prevent over-fishing so as not to damage the population of fish.
Snapper, 2014, PIRSA Fisheries,
Snapper, Pagrus auratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), 2014, Australian Museum,
Silver Seabream, n.d, FishBase,
Australasian Snapper, 2014, Wikipedia,


Tiger Shark

Underwater tigers – presenting the tiger shark.

  • Tiger sharks are large fish, or sharks, located in the warmer oceans of the earth, and are commonly found in coastal waters.
  • Tiger sharks are the sole species of the Galeocerdo genus, and are from the family Carcharhinidae, the family of requiem sharks.
  • Tiger sharks have the scientific name Galeocerdo cuvier, and are also known as ‘sea tigers’, ‘man-eater sharks’ and ‘spotted sharks’.
  • Tiger sharks grow to be 3.0 to 5.5 metres (9.8 to 18 feet) in length, and weigh 385 to 1,524 kilograms (848 to 3,360 pounds) in weight.
  • Tiger sharks are coloured generally in a combination of blue or green and grey, black and white and are typically patterned with dark stripes.
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Tiger Shark
Image courtesy of Gord Webster/Flickr
  • Tiger sharks eat a wide variety of items, but their diets typically consist of fish, birds, marine mammals and molluscs, as well as man-made rubbish.
  • The tiger shark is second only to the great white shark, as the most common to attack humans, even though it is an uncommon for them to strike.
  • Tiger sharks are commonly hunted for their skin, fin, flesh and liver, the latter containing a significant amount of vitamin A, used to create vitamin rich oil.
  • Female tiger sharks give birth to fully developed young, numbering from 10 to 80, after they have been forming internally for up to 16 months, and they have an approximate lifespan of 30 to 50 years.
  • Tiger sharks can move at speeds of 32 kilometres per hour (20 miles per hour), even though they generally move slowly through the water.
Tiger shark, 2014, A-Z Animals,
Tiger shark, 2014, National Geographic,
Tiger shark, 2014, Wikipedia,


Moray Eel

Moray eels are shy, are you?

  • Moray eels are a family of roughly 200 different species of eel, found mainly in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical salt waters.
  • A moray eel looks similar to a snake, however, it has a dorsal fin that sits behind its head and along its body.
  • Moray eels are divided into 15 genera and are also known as the family of Muraenidae.
  • Moray eels can grow to be 0.11 to 4 metres (0.375 to 13 feet) in length, and while they do not have a good sense of sight, their smell sense is acute.
  • The head and body of moray eels, and the inner section of the mouth in some species, are usually marked with patterns that differ, depending on the species.
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Moray Eel
Image courtesy of Thomas Quine/Flickr
  • Moray eels have an outer layer of mucus that can be poisonous, varying by species, and some eels may be toxic if eaten, due to their diet.
  • Moray eels prey on sea snakes; molluscs and cephalopods like octopus and squid; fish and crustaceans.
  • Moray eels are hunted by large fish and sharks, and have a life span of approximately ten to thirty years.
  • Moray eels do interact and cooperate with some other marine species, in the process of hunting.
  • Moray eels are typically afraid of people, attacking humans to self defend or mistake human fingers for food, and in which case, the eel cannot let go as it latches on with its large teeth.
Moray Eel, 2014, A-Z Animals,
Moray Eel, 2014, Wikipedia,


Rainbow Trout

No, rainbow trout do not cause rainbows.

  • Rainbow trout are fish native to North American and north east Asian areas of the Pacific Ocean, and are also native to cold, North American lakes and rivers.
  • ‘ Rainbow trout’ are also known as ‘steelheads’, ‘steelhead trout’, ‘redband trout’ and ‘ocean trout’.
  • Rainbow trout adults have a typical length between 51 to 76 cm (20 to 30 inches) and depending on their habitat, they can weigh between 0.5 to 9.1 kilograms (1 to 20 pounds).
  • Rainbow trout have a red stripe from the tail to the head, and have a silvery, grey or brown skin colour and have numerous small dark coloured spots.
  • Rainbow trout have been introduced into every continent except Antarctica, and as a result, have decreased native fish population in many countries.

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Rainbow Trout
Image courtesy of National Geographic
  • Rainbow trout, or steelhead trout as they are called in the United State’s Washington, became an official symbol of the state of Washington in 1969.
  • Rainbow trout has the scientific name Oncorhynchus mykiss and is from the family Salmonidae, the family of ray-finned fish, that migrate to fresh water to spawn, and either return to the ocean or further down stream after reproducing.
  • Rainbow trout can live to be 11 years, but their typical lifespan ranges from 4 to 6 years in the wild, and they always breed at the same place they were born.
  • Rainbow trout has a diet of crustaceans, small fish, water insects and fish eggs is popularly hunted for sport, food and bait.
  • Rainbow trout can be cooked and are easily eaten, while having a nut-like taste, and are commonly farmed commercially, with 604, 695 tonnes (666,562 tons) produced in 2007, with Chile being the largest producer.
Rainbow trout, 2014, National Geographic,
Rainbow trout, 2014, Wikipedia,


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