Tiger rockfish, Sebastes nigrocinctus
The Tiger rockfish is named for its striped coloration. The rockfish family is one of the largest fish families found in the temperate waters of the Pacific coast of North America. Its natural range extends from Alaska to Central California and it is known to be territorial and solitary. Many members of the rockfish family have venomous dorsal spines. The Tiger rockfish prefers to hide in rocky crevices and feeds on small crustaceans and fish.
Giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini
The Giant Pacific octopus is the largest species of octopus and has been known to reach sizes of 20-28 feet across and can weigh more than 100 pounds. The average arms span of an adult Giant octopus is about 15 feet. Like other species of octopus, the Giant octopus can secrete an ink screen to deter a predator and can inflict a venomous bite. They can change colors instantly, which is believed to communicate emotion.
Strawberry anemone, Corynactis californica
The Strawberry anemone is a colonial invertebrate found in the temperate waters of the North American Pacific coast, from British Columbia to California. It feeds on small zooplankton such as copepods, capturing them in its stinging tentacles. Like other colonial invertebrates, the Strawberry anemone can reproduce by budding, which produces identical clones of each polyp. Clones of these anemones have been known to cover more than 10.8 square feet of the ocean floor.
Bat starfish, Patiria miniata
Bat stars live on rocks, sand bottoms and surf grasses from British Columbia to Mexico. They are known to be omnivorous or scavengers and feed on a variety of plants and animals. To feed, the Bat star everts its stomach, wrapping it around its food to digest it. Like other echinoderms, the Bat star moves using tube feet pressurized by a water vascular system.
Unicorn tang, Naso unicornis
While many surgeonfish draw attention with brilliant colors, this gray fish stands out for its bizarre shape, appearing as if it had a "nose". Feeding on algae and plankton in the wild, it enjoys lettuce and other leafy greens in aquariums. It can be found in schools from the Red Sea to many islands in the Pacific, including Hawaii, where it is a traditional food fish. Like other surgeonfish, it has defensive "scalpels" on its tail, but they are especially noticeable with this species because they are blue.
Red-toothed triggerfish, Odonus niger
One has to look closely at this elegant fish to see that its tiny but needle-sharp teeth are indeed a shade of dull pinkish red. This species does not have teeth as massive as most other triggerfishes, since it feeds primarily on plankton, often assembling in large schools to feast on it. It also eats sponges. Found from the Red Sea far into the Pacific, for many years it has been popular in aquariums, where it does very well.
Clown triggerfish, Balistoides conspicillum
When this species first appeared in captivity more than 50 years ago, it created a sensation, and for years was known as "the most expensive aquarium fish". Since the 1980s, it has been more frequently imported, but remains very popular. Unlike the Red-toothed triggerfish, it is an antisocial species that is never found in large numbers anywhere in its Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific range. Triggerfish are named for the complicated structure of part of the dorsal fin, which "locks into place" so the fish can secure itself in crevices.
Harlequin tuskfish, Choerodon fasciatus
This wrasse stands out in a family well known for garish patterns and colors. Its blue teeth accent the starling combination of red, white, and yellow. It can be found from Japan to Australia, where it is sometimes called a Macaw fish. Until the 1970s it was very rare in aquariums. For a large wrasse, it is rather well behaved in community displays.
Blue-dot stingray, Taeniura lymma
The DWA exhibits an unusually extensive series of freshwater and saltwater stingrays. This inhabitant of coral reefs from the Red Sea to the Indo-Pacific is one of the most colorful of all elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and chimeras). It is a small stingray, never more than three feet long, including its tail. It hunts crustaceans and other invertebrates.
Dragon wrasse, Novaculichthys taeniourus
While juvenile and adult Harlequin tusk fish look very similar to each other, many other wrasses undergo astounding transformations as they reach maturity. As a juvenile, this Indo-Pacific species presents a dainty appearance, with a lacy-looking pattern and fins. The formidable adults are powerful fish that work in teams, taking turns lifting rocks and coral and grabbing the animals they find.
Threadfin snapper, Symphorichthys spilurus
Like many wrasses, this relative of the popular red snapper undergoes remarkable changes in colors and fin shape as it reaches adulthood, but it remains quite striking throughout this process. While the long-finned youngsters have a simple but attractive geometric pattern, the short-fined adults, which can reach two feet, are festooned in electric blue stripes that have earned them the name of Chinese gown fish in Australia. This fish has a wide distribution in the Indo-Pacific.
Denizens of the Deep
Japanese spider crab, Macrochaeira kaempferi
The Japanese spider crab is the largest living arthropod, reaching 13 feet in arm span. It is an omnivorous scavenger feeding on decaying animal and plant matter. Found in the cold, deep waters off the coast of Japan, the Japanese spider crab is known to breed between the months of January and April each year. Females of this species can carry up to 1.5 million eggs each season. The exact life span of these giant crustaceans is unknown, but it is believed that they can live more than 50 years, with some reports suggesting that they can survive for more than 100 years.
Longspine snipefish, Macrorhamphosus scolopax
The Longspine snipefish, a Syngnathiform fish is a distant relative of the seahorses, pipefish and seadragons. It is also known as a Bellows fish for the way its fused jaws draw in water through its long, slender snout. It is found around the world in subtropical or temperate seas. It feeds on small zooplankton and worms, and usually swims vertically, head down. It is reddish pink in color and it is reported to grow to more than seven inches in length.
Yellowhead hulafish, Trachinops noarlungae
The Yellowhead hulafish, or Yellow-headed pretty fin as it is also known, is a small schooling fish often found under jetties or on rocky reefs. It is endemic to the temperate waters of Southern and Western Australia. This relatively small species reaches a length of only four inches and can be found in large schools. The Yellowhead hulafish is named for the yellow coloring on its head and its dancing like movements in the water.
Bluelined hulafish, Trachinops brauni
The Bluelined hulafish, or Braun's hulafish, is a little known species found in the subtropical waters of Australia. It is a small fish reaching a length of three inches with a bright blue stripe running horizontally from head to tail. It is a schooling fish and can be found in large numbers feeding on zooplankton. A nesting species, males of this species are believed to protect the eggs until hatching.
Lyretail anthias, Pseudanthias squamipinnis
The Lyretail anthias, also known as the Scalefin anthias, is found in the Indo-West Pacific, often in large aggregations. The brightly colored pink males and orange females can be seen feeding on zooplankton throughout the day. Like other members of the Serranidae family, the Lyretail anthias is hermaphroditic. Males choose a harem of females with which to mate. In the absence of a male, the dominant female will become a male. In this case, the female's orange coloration will change to pink and her dorsal fin will become more ornate.
Species Survival Plan (SSP) indicates species that are listed as endangered by USFWS