FISHES of the MALDIVES INDIAN OCEAN
The experts field guide
Author: Rudie H. Kuiter & Co-author: Tim Godfrey
This parrotfish was seen by Dr Nick Graham during an Atoll Editions survey of Fishes and corals in Gaafu Dhaalu in 2013. It is Chlorurus enneacanthus, an excavating species, that removes both algae and some of the reef matrix as it feeds, providing important ecosystem functions in terms of controlling algae and turning sediment over. It is a fairly widespread schooling species across the Indian Ocean, but not commonly seen. Nick was working in the Maldives as part of Indian ocean wide studies to assesses drivers of reef and reef fish condition.
Chlorurus enneacanthus taken by Nick Graham in Chagos.
This photo of barracudas was taken by Marine biologist Sylvia Jaggerros at Foammulah in the south of the Maldives in 2014. Sylvia was researching mangroves and took time out for a reef snorkel adventure. “Check the small mouth and slender body...I'm not sure what species, but if I had a guess it would be Striped Barracuda S. obtusata” said Sylvia.
Rudie Kuiter, author of Fishes of the Maldives Indian Ocean, said he’d never seen this barracuda, but thought is was probably Sphyraena chrysotaenia, or something new, that was synonymised with S. obtusata at some stage.
Sylvia then contacted Dr. Hiroshi Senou, from the Ichthyological Society of Japan, a specialist in Sphyraena to get his opinion. The verdict: Sphyraena helleri. Well done Sylvia!
Sphyraena helleri. Photographed by Sylvia Jaggerros at Foammulah
in the south of the Maldives in 2014.
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