Indian River Lagoon
Animals A - Z
A is for the Atlantic needlefish
These lovely fish are round - bodied fish. They reach about 25 inches in length and their color ranges from yellow - green to a navy blue. Their scales are small and cycloid in shape. These fish are most commonly found in coastal waters, estuarine habitats, and sometimes in freshwater tributaries. In the IRL they are most commonly found in sea grasses, mangrove creeks, and mosquito impoundments. The needlefish resembles the pipefish. They have about the same body shape but the pipefish is much larger in size. There is also a difference in position of fins so they are not easily confused for one another. The pipefish’s location ranges from the Gulf of Mexico to the South part of Brazil, excluding the Bahamas.
B is for the Bay Anchovy
This wonderful fish has a thin silvery line that runs along its body from the gill plate to the caudal peduncle. It’s color ranges from green blue - green. The Bay Anchovy reaches about 6 inches in length. It has fairly large eyes, mouth, and inferior. The Bay Anchovy is most commonly found in estuaries, river mouths, bays, and of course the IRL. The Bay Anchovy resembles the Striped Anchovy. The Striped Anchovy is slightly larger and more compressed than the Bay Anchovy. Also, the Striped Anchovy is more commonly found in near shore coastal waters rather than on estuaries. The Bay Anchovy’s location ranges from the Gulf of Maine South through Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. The Bay Anchovy feeds primarily on Plankton even though they have large mouths.
C is for the Common SnookThis amazing fish is a robust fish meaning it’s a strong and healthy fish that is powerfully built. It reaches about 55 inches in length and can weigh up to about 60 pounds. It is a dull green color with a yellow to green tint while its fins are often bright yellow. Females are generally larger than male fish of the same age. The Common Snook is most commonly found in mangrove - fringed estuarine habitats and of course the IRL. When juveniles they mainly live in fresh water. During their first 60 - 90 days they mainly live in salt marsh habitats. During the next 4 - 5 months they mainly live in sea grass beds. Then finally they are full grown they live in mangrove - fringed estuarine habitats where they live the rest of their lives. The Common Snook reaches the mature stage at about 12 inches in length. It resembles the Swordspine Snook. The Common Snook’s location ranges from the coastal mid - Atlantic United States to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean islands.
D is for the Dolphin fish
The Dolphin fish is also known as the Mahi - Mahi. Its body color ranges from blue - green to yellow - green. The dorsal fins are a blue - black color and the scales are cycloid in shape. It is most commonly found in habitats near surface waters of open oceans, near shore coastal waters, estuaries, inlet areas, and of course the IRL. Some have been spotted in the Atlantic, India, and Pacific oceans, usually between 35 degree N to 35-degree S latitudes. In the western Atlantic their location ranges from Nova Scotia South to Brazil including Bermuda and the Gulf of Mexico
E is for the Eel (American Eel)
The American El is a large snake -like fish that can reach up to 5 feet in length. Female American Eel are generally larger than male American Eel. Their body color is usually brown or green dorsally and yellow to white ventrally. Unlike most
F is for the Florida Pompano
G is for the Gulf Pipefish
The gulf pipefish's real name is Syngnathus scovelli. It can grow up to 18.3 cm. That is very small! The gulf pipefish can live up to 3 years. They live in a tropical climate, like Florida and the IRL. It has a very small anal fin.
H is for Hatchetfish
The Hatchetfish's real scientific name is Gasteropelecus sternicla. It comes from Brazil, Guyana, and Surinam. An adult hatchetfish can be up to 2.5 inches long. They are also very peaceful.heir life span is up to five years. They are carnivores and mostly eat insects.
I is for Indian Glassfish
Chanda range is the scientific name for the indian glassfish. It comes from several places, India, Burma, and Thailand. The biggest the glassfish can get is three inches. That's smaller than a pencil. It likes to eat live foods and flakes (which means it can also live in your fish tank). This is a softly colored, almost see-through, transparent fish.
The indian glassfish is shaped like a black skirt tetra. They are a member of the Centropomidae family which is a shy group of fish. They are peaceful and timid.
The indian glassfish can lay about two-hundred eggs in plants, and the eggs hatch in a day!
J is for Jordan's Catfish
The Jordan's catfish's scientific name is the Arius seemani. It originally came from California, Mexico, and Columbia. It is peaceful with larger fish.
The Jordan catfish can live ten years. Some live even longer. It grows to be about fourteen inches in length. That's larger than most men's feet!
The catfish lays eggs and are mouthbrooders.
K is for the Kyphosus Sectatrix, commonly known as Bermuda Chub
This vertebrae has a length of 32 inches long. Its bright color is a pretty sight to humans but is a color of threat to other fish who want to prey on him. This fish likes to roam in shallow, clear parts of the Indian River Lagoon and is known to follow ships. Some people call it a rudderfish. I am good to eat and can also be fun to catch! I have a football shaped body and can grow to be 2 1/2 feet long! When you first look at me, you will think I am gray or silver with a white spot or two, but if you look really close, you'll see yellow stripes on my body and a white stripe under my eye from my mouth to my gill!
L is for the Lemon Tetra
The scientific name for the lemon tetra is Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis. The tetra came from the Amazon basin and can grow up to two inches. They are nice fish, and eats flake food and vegetables.
M is for Manatee
Manatee's are large, fully aquatic marine mammals. Also known as the "sea cows". Manatees are mainly herbivores. Manatees swim about 5km to 8km(3 to 5mph).Manatees inhabit the shallow, marshy coastal areas and rivers of the Caribbean sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Manatees eat many plants such as mangrove leaves,turtle grass,and different types of algae.
N is for Neanthes Succine
The neanthes Succine is commonly known as the clam worm or bristle worm.
The neanthes succine is commonly known as the clam worm or bristle worm. It can grow to be 13-24 inches in length. This fish is a vertebra that eats zooplankton (see microscopic animals page) and is prey to a lot of other larger animals. Its body is a read color. It has four large eyes, one small antenna, and long palps, large jaws, and small teeth. It hides in the daytime and is active at night - which means it is nocturnal.
Photo: www.flickr.com (blssmbnn, littoraria)
O is for Otocinclus
The scientific is the Otocinclus vestitus.They can be up to two inches.They can live three to five years.They come from South America.This is a peaceful fish and does well when in small schools.They will lay eggs on plant leaves.The male is usually larger than a female at the same age.They are herbivores.
P is for the Pelicans
Q is for Quiscalus major
The real name for a quiscalus major is a boat-tailed grackle. It is a large, long-tailed blackbird. It is found only in the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the US. You will find this noisy bird on power lines and telephone poles.
The males are black, and females are dull brown.
R is for the Racoon
S is for the Swordtail
T is for the Tomate
U is for Urosalpinx Cinerea
A Urosalpinx Cinerea is called the Atlantic Oyster Drill. It is a crab with a drill shaped shell. The shell 9-12 vertical, rounded ribs crossed with 15 rows of thinner spiral ridges.
You will find the urosalpinx cinerea in the oyster reefs of the IRL. This is because they like to eat oysters - yum! They live 5-8 years.
V is for Vallentinia gabriellae
The vallentinia gabriellae is the scientific name for the hitch-hiking jellyfish. This jellyfish came from the southern coast of Brazil, and was found in the Indian River Lagoon in the 1990s, by Vero Beach.
This jellyfish uses it's tentacles to sting it's prey. It would eat zooplankton, but prefers larger food items.
Yes, this is something else that can sting you!
W is for the Walking Catfish
X is for Xiphophorus Variatus
Their FishBase name is the Varible Platyfish, and is commonly known as the sunset platy. They eat algae, insects, insect larvae, worms, and Brine Shrimp. They are peaceful fish too. The platyfish can reach 5 centimeters for the males and 7 centimeters for the females.
Y is for the Yellowtail Snapper
Z is for Zoobotryon
No, we didn't make up the name. A zoobotryo is all over the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), and is a bryozoan.
It grows throughout the summer. Te zoobotryo helps keep the IRL ecosystem healthy by filtering particles from the water, like phytoplankton.
The zoobotryo lives in the seagrasses, drift algae, oyster reef, dock, pilings, breakwaters, and man-made waste (or pollution).
K. Hill, Smithsonian Marine Station said it the best in her report "Bryozoans are ecologically important in the Indian River Lagoon due to their feeding method. As suspension feeders, they act as living filters in the marine environment. For example, Winston (1995) reported that bryozoan colonies located in 1 square meter of seagrass bed could potentially filter and recirculate an average of 48,000 gallons of seawater per day."