Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cheek trick

Butterflies inspire me. The ones flying around in the garden, but most of all the ones rolicking around the coral reef: butterflyfish. This Chaetodon semilarvatus, or Blue Masked Butterflyfishis a great example Yellow beauties, usually seen in pairs or hiding under table corals. The remarkable blue eye patch hides the eye and confuses predators.
These butterfly fishes live around coral, at depths from 3 to 20 m. They are very common throughout the Red Sea. (IUCN status says: 'Least Concern' . Always nice to know there still are species which are not threathened!).
Butterfly fish or Chaetodontidae are small, colorful fishes with a continuous dorsal fin which gives them their special look. "Chaetodontidae" is based on Greek, meaning "bristle teeth". If you're crazy enough to check it out, you will find they indeed have small, brush-like teeth. Most species of butterfly fish are active during the day, resting among corals or rocks at night. 
A number of species feeds on coral polyps. These species tend to be territorial. When a coral, or a part of the coral, is attacked by the fish, the surrounding polyps withdraw as far as they can into their protective skeletons. The butterfly fish then has to move further along the reef. Species congregating in large shoals are generally planctivores. Many species, like this Bue Masked Butterfly, are heterosexual pairs that may remain together for years, some even say for life.

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