11 emblematic fish of Mauritius, part 2/3

by Cindy
in Blog
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What special fish can be found in Mauritius?

 The Indian Ocean, and more precisely Mauritius, still has many unexplored underwater areas, and is still full of well-kept secrets and special/emblematic fish that will not fail to surprise you...This article aims to make you discover some of them, and maybe, who knows, to make you want to come and dive with us soon!

  • 04. Leafish, or leaf scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus)

The leaf fish, so called because it wobbles like a leaf under stress to camouflage itself, is a member of the scorpion fish family. However, unlike its cousins, this one is not venomous. It can measure up to 10cm long and can vary in colour from white, pink, yellow, green, brown or black. It lives from 5m to 100m deep and can live on the same dive site for several years!

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05. Peacock mantis shrimp, harlequin mantis shrimp, painted mantis shrimp, clown mantis shrimp or rainbow mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus)

The harlequin mantis shrimp, also known as the peacock mantis shrimp, is so called because its folded claws are reminiscent of a praying mantis. The female is lighter than the male. She has leopard spots on the front of her shell, orange legs, electric blue face, bright red antennules and red hairs around her appendages. This impressive mix of colours makes it a sublime and fascinating species! Moreover, with its long and powerful ravenous legs with round and hard tips, it can strike with extreme precision and speed of movement!

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06. Rhinopias (Rhinopias)

The rhinopias belongs to the scorpionfish family. It was first described in 1893 by a zoologist and with the geographical specification / whose type locality is Mauritius. Its name "Rhinopias" comes from the combination of "rhino" meaning "snout" and "op" meaning "eye", an allusion to its upturned snout and raised eye sockets.

The rhinopias is distinguished by the presence of 12 spines in its dorsal fins and 3 spines in its anal fins. Its body is covered with small cycloid scales. Its size can range from a total length of 15 cm to 25 cm. There are in all six different species recognised in this genus in 2022, and in Mauritius we are fortunate to have two of them, which are :

 rhinopiarhinopia eschmeyer 3

Laced scorpionfish                                                      Eschmeyer's scorpionfish

  • 07. Twospot turkeyfish, twinspot lionfish, twoeyed lionfish or ocellated lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus)

The Twospot turkeyfish (also known as ocellated lionfish, twinspot lionfish, or twoeyed lionfish) is also a member of the scorpionfish family. It is a small scorpionfish that can grow up to 13cm when fully grown. It is reddish-orange in colour and is characterised by a dorsal fin that is far back (preceded by a row of 13 venomous spines) with two large black eye-spots (like butterflies).

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