Category America North – Atlantic Coast – sub-tropical

Red lionfish

Pterois volitans

A member of the Scopaenidae or scorpion fish family, the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) is commonly found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The species ranges from western Australia and Malaysia to the Marquesas Islands. It is not a native of this eco-region, but in the last few years, there have been increasing reports of the species being seen off the coasts of Georgia and Eastern Florida. Research scientists want to document all sightings, collections and other incidents relative to this species as well as other non-native marine species. They would also like to learn more about their distribution, abundance and habitat preference in the region.

The red lionfish has distinctive red to purple color with vertical white stripes, fleshy tentacles above the eyes and be...

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The snappers are a large and diverse group of robust-bodied, carnivorous fishes. Most species possess relatively large mouths with stout canine teeth and bodies covered with relatively large, coarse scales. They are frequently brightly coloured. They are demersal (spending most time swimming close to the sea bed) in some cases down to 450m and are found in the tropical and sub tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. There are over one hundred individual species globally, but within the North Atlantic Coast Sub-tropical eco region there are only a limited number of species that you are likely to see at diving depth,

The cubera snapper (Lutjanus cyanopterus) is the largest member of the snapper family and the only one on our list that is on the IUCN R...

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The Palinurus genus (frequently transcribed as Panulirus) is represented by numerous species in all of the world’s tropical and sub-tropical seas as well as more temperate waters. It is a predatory, nocturnal animal with a vividly decorated coat. They are often numerous locally; they linger in crevices (with their long antennae sticking out) during the day and hunt small benthic organisms at night, but they also feed on organic detritus whenever they happen across it.

Lobsters have recently suffered a dramatic demographic decline; intensive fishing has annihilated entire populations, especially where tourism abounds. Please record all sightings of lobsters, identifying individual species where possible...

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When people talk about coral reefs, fishermen tend to shrug their shoulders and complain about snagged lines and torn nets. But when you talk about groupers, they suddenly sit up and pay attention. Groupers are among the economicallymost important fishes of the coral reef, because of their popularity as food. Yetwithout the coral reef there would probably be no groupers. For this reason, groupers are an extremely important indicator species and your record of theirexistence or non-existence during your dive tells us a lot.

The Dusky Grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) feeds on octopi, crustaceans (crabs) and fishes. It lives on rocky bottoms very close to the coasts. Because of its enormous final size (1,5 meters of length) it is the most impressive coastal fish...

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Identifying sharks in the wild is a great challenge! While scientists can spend weeks examining every detail of a species, divers may encounter a shark for only a few seconds or minutes. Many species look alike and one individual may not be identical to the next. There are, however, relatively few species in any one specific dive site and with some preparation and a little practice it is possible for all of us to recognise the more common and distinctive species. The key to successful shark identification underwater is a process of elimination, based on a mental checklist of the main features to look for in every animal encountered. One feature alone is rarely enough for a positive identification, so gather as much information as you can before drawing firm conclusions.

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