Thursday, November 03, 2011

Beauties of the Brine

November Show at Sanctuary Tattoo 31 Forest Ave Portland ME
Opening Friday November 4th!
Featuring my Beauties of the Brine oil on panel series and work by Chris Dingwell and Kimberly Convery

Australian Spotted Jellyfish
(Phyllorhiza punctata)

This beautiful jellyfish species, native to the southwestern Pacific, has recently become a growing problem for a few different places in the worlds oceans. The budding polyps of the Australian (or White) spotted jellyfish have been attaching themselves to ships, traveled and multiplied. One of the biggest areas of concern is the Gulf of Mexico, where these jellies are threatening shrimp and other species who share a diet of plankton. A single full grown (40-50cm) Phyllorhiza punctata is able to filter 13,200 gallons of sea water a day in order to extract the plankton. This species of jelly has a mild sting which can be easily treated with vinegar.

Asian Green Mussel
(Perna viridis)

Seven to eight hours after fertilization the zygote of the Asian green mussel (or Philippine green mussel) transforms into a larva which then metamorphosizes into a juvenile clam and attaches itself to the substrate. It becomes sexually mature after it reaches 15 - 30mm. Perna viridis is a bright shade of green than darkens as it ages. They generally live two to three years and can grow up to 100mm in length.
This is another species that has become invasive in certain areas due to attaching itself to boat hulls. They often cause damage to underwater structures like drain pipes making them a nuisance in many coastal Asian cities. They are sometime harvested for food, but are known to contain a lot of toxins.

Blue Harlequin Shrimp
(Hymenocera elegans)

Hymenocera elegans grows to only 5cm and the females are often larger than the males. They are most commonly found hiding in coral reefs in the tropical parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also known as the clown, painted or dancing shrimp, this little guys feeds almost exclusively on starfish and can be found with red or blue markings on white.

Oriental Flying Gurnard
(Dactyloptena orientalis)

The Oriental flying gurnard is most commonly found around 100 meters deep in the waters of the Indo-Pacific Oceans. It gets it's name from the French word "gurnard," meaning to grunt, because of the grunting noises that it makes.
On average this fish is about 16 inches long, and has pectoral fins that it holds at it's sides until threatened, then it spreads its wing-like fins to scare off predators. It also uses its pelvic fins to walk across the sea floor in seach of a small crustations and bivalves which make up much of its diet.

Mole Cowry
(Talparia talpa)

This uncommon creature lives inside it's beautiful and sometimes valuable brown and white striped shell in the waters of the Red Sea, Indian Ocean along the coasts of East Africa, western Australia, Polynesia and Hawaii. This 50-70mm long snail is usually found on coral reefs or shallows lagoons in intertidal and subtidal tropical waters up to 30 meters deep. They begin to come out at dusk to graze on algae and sponges, and avoid their enemy the cone shell.
The Mole cowry uses the lateral flaps of its black and often speckled mantle and foot to completely hide its shell, but can quickly retract itself back into its shell when threatened.

Maxima Clam
(Tridacna maxima)

Also known as the small giant clam, Tridacna maxima starts its life as tiny egg that will hatch within 12 hours of fertilization. From there it becomes a swimming larva, then a more developed swimming larva able to filter feed. In the next stage the clam larva develops a foot which allows it to attach itself to a hard surface. After eight to ten days it transforms into a juvenile clam, it will take two or three years to mature into a male, and once it reaches about 15cm the small giant clam becomes a hermaphrodite.
It starts reproduction simultaneously with the other Tridacna maxima in the area at a certain part of the lunar cycle, time of day and when there is presence of other sperm and eggs in the water. It releases its sperm first then its eggs a little later to help prevent self fertilization. The Maxima clam is most commonly found in well lit surface areas of coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. It's diet mainly consists of zooxanthellae and phytoplankton, types of photosynthetic algae.

Kochi's Bottletail Squid
(Sepiadarium kochi)

Koch's bottletail squid is found in the waters of the Indo-West Pacific from Japan to India and throughout the Indo-Malayan region. This cute and edible little squid can grow up to 3cm and lives on the sea floor at about 60 meters deep. During the day this species mainly stays buried in the sand and emerges at night to hunt for small crustaceans, it's primary food source.

Swimming Sea Cucumber
(Enypniastes eximia)

Sometimes called the headless chicken fish, the swimming sea cucumber is one of the only sea cucumbers that doesn't live exclusively on the ocean floor. They can be found in every ocean, 500 - 5,000 meters deep and are able to swim up 1,000 meters into the water column using front and back swimming structures.
They find food by using the tentacles sur-rounding their mouths to pick up sediments from the sea floor, which they extract the attached edible organic material from. Being able to see this creature's innards through it's translucent skin isn't even the coolest thing about it. When threatened the swimming sea cucumber can cover their entire body in a bioluminescent glow, which it then quickly sheds to distract the predator and make it's escape.

Cuttlefish Egg

Sometimes called sea grapes, the cuttlefish egg, when first laid, is stained with black ink which begins to disappear over time and the egg becomes almost transparent, allowing the baby cuttlefish to see its new world before it hatches. When born, this cephalopod is around 12 - 20mm long and relies only on itself to find food and avoid predictors since both adults die soon after fertilization. The female will lay roughly half her weight in eggs.

Bubble-Tip Anemone
(Anoentacmaea quadricolora)

The bubble tip anemone is a popular home for a variety of clownfish species. The clownfish also help provide food for the anemone. By sweeping it's bubble-tipped tentacles through the water and around the fish the anemone is able to collect and filter any editable debris.
It originates in the Indo-Pacific region, and can be found in a rainbow of colors. Growing up to a foot in diameter, Anoentacmaea quadricolora is popular with ambitious home aquarists. In the right conditions, usually with supplemented minerals this species is able to reproduce asexually.