Maldives QI, Part 3

Yellow Boxfish juvenile

Question: What is this a picture of?

Answer: A Yellow Box Fish.

[Soundeffect]: Ding! Correct. You get no points because that was so easy (it is yellow and it looks like a box). Now, what is the fish below?…

Yellow Boxfish mature

Answer: A grey/green boxfish?

[Soundeffect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. This is also aYellow Boxfish’ or Ostracion cubicus. The Yellow Boxfish, which you can see quite prevalently in the Maldives, loses its bright yellow colour as it matures.

Thanks Chase (unofficial president of the Boxfish fan club).

Maldives QI, Part 2

Portugese Man of War

Question: What is this a picture of?

Answer: A Jelly Fish.

[Soundeffect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. This is a ‘Portugese Man of War’ which is not actually a ‘jelly fish’ but asiphonophore. Siphonophores “differ from jellyfish in that they are not actually a single creature, but a colonial organism made up of many minute individuals called zooids. Each of these zooids is highly-specialized and, although structurally similar to other solitary animals, are attached to each other and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.” In this respect, Portugese Man Of Wars, also know as just ‘Man of Wars’ or ‘Blue Bottles’, are more like coral polyps.

As it turns out, this fact was so obscure that it escaped the Ceremonial Master himself in the first series of QI. Stephen Fry referred to a ‘jellyfish’ as the ‘right class of animal’ as a ‘Portugese Man-of-War’. In reality, Man of Wars are not even the same of the same Order as jellyfish. They are in the order Hydrozoa, while jelly fish are in the order Scyphozoa

Bill: Forget the buzzers. Off the buzzers now. I would hazard a guess and say the, erm, the Portuguese Man-of-War.
Stephen: Oh, now, do you know, I’m gonna give you five points, ’cause you’re so much in the right class of animal.
Bill: Ah! See?
Stephen: It is a jellyfish.
Bill: A jellyfish.
Stephen: Yeah. It is a jellyfish.

Just one of the many fascinating facts we learned about Maldive ocean life during the talk by Marine Biologist Verena Wiesbauer Ali put on by Kurumba.

Maldives QI, Part 1

Stephen Fry QI

In honour of Stephen Fry’s brilliant QI (short for ‘Quite Interesting’) TV comedy quiz show returning to BBC this weekend, we feature a couple of Maldives QI questions of our own…

Maldives Clown Fish

Question:  What common, colourful fish in the Maldives is this a picture of?

Answer #1:  A ‘Nemo’ Fish.?

[Sound effect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. The character ‘Nemo’ in Disney’s filmFinding Nemo’ had three white stripes as a opposed to the single one shown above.

Nemo

Answer #2: A Clown Fish.

[Soundeffect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. You are close in that the term ‘clown fish’ is often applied to all members of the family of ‘Anemonefish’, but not all Anemonefish are really clown fish including this specimen.

Anemonefish are from the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae and only one specific species of Anemonefish, Amphiprion ocellaris, is actually designated the ‘Clown Anemonefish’. The fish shown at top is really a ‘Amphiprion nigripes’, also known as a ‘Maldive anemonefish’.  With its cousin ‘Amphiprion clarkii’ (also known as ‘Clark’s anemonefish’ or the ‘Yellowtail clownfish’), they are the two species of Anemonefish (out of 27 that exist worldwide) found in the Maldive waters.

As it happens, a number of Anemonfish have also been dubbed ‘Clownfish’ in their informal names such as Amphiprion perideraion (Pink skunk clownfish) and the Amphiprion melanopus (Fire or Cinnamon clownfish) as well as obviously ‘Clark’s which I said is known as the ‘Yellowtail Clownfish’. But not this species here. Even Wikipedia describes the terms ‘Clownfish’ and ‘Anemonefish’ as interchangeable, but now you know the real distinctions.

Thanks to Sarah Kompatscher, Marine Biologist at Anantara, and Verena Wiesbauer Ali, Marine Biologist for Kurumba.

Clown Anemonefish

Proper ‘Nemo’ or ‘Clown Anemonefish’