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Author Topic: Hazardous Mediterranean Fish.  (Read 15158 times)
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Arti2
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2008, 09:31:42 CET »

Maltese:-Boll Denbu Ahrax
English:-Roughtail stingray
Italian:-Trigone Spinoso
Latin:-Dasyatis centroura


It is very similar to D.pastinaca. This fish is sub-quadrangular with strongly sinuous former edges, blunt snout. This stingray has a large size and spacing of mid-dorsal bucklers, conspicuous tubercles on the outer parts of disc . The tail has numerous rows of small spines. The ventral finfold is long, but quite low, not easily seen, dorsal finfold absent . Its colour is olive brown above, white or nearly below. Lower surface white and without dark edgings. It is rarely caught.

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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2008, 10:33:38 CET »

Moray eels.

Moray eels have the ordinary snake-like body shape . They have a small head with tiny eyes set well in front and huge jaws lined with razor-sharp pointed teeth. It uses these teeth to tear flesh from its prey (generally making a rotating movement) and then swallow using an internal jaw called Pharyngeal jaw. This jaw helps to swallow by moving from the outside to the inside. Morays have no scales and both pelvic and pectoral fins are absent. The dorsal fin starts at the nape and is continous with the caudal and anal fins. Moray eels are often brightly coloured and boldly patterned, especially the tropical species. These fish live on rocky bottoms, hiding in crevices, large stones and in wrecks. They feed mostly by night on crustaceans, most fish but their favourite food seems to be octopus tentacles.


Maltese:-Morina
English:-Moray Eel
Italian:-Murena
Latin:-Muraena helena


M.helena has a classical eel-like body, cylindrical in cross-section, except for the tail which is laterally compressed. It has a small head with a pointed snout and large powerful jaws. It has a slimy thick skin with no scales and a single  black gill opening on each side of the head.

Its colour is dark brown, with a varied mottling of cream or yellow, finer and irregular anteriorly, becoming more regular and heavy towards the tail.



The moray eel is quiet common amongst rocks on broken seabeds, even in the shallows. It spends most time hidden in crevices with only its head showing, gasping repeatedly with partially open mouth. Occasionally it comes out of its lair looking for something to eat.

When it bites it does not easily let go. It can grow up to one or two metres. Its blood when fresh can produce toxic symptoms both in animals and human beings. Its bite can also produce toxic manifestations and can take quite a few days to heal. When cooked up to 75 degrees Celcius the toxin looses its poisonous properties. It is quite a delicious fish to eat when cooked. When caught alive fishermen treat it with utmost care. They kill it quickly with a decisive blow to its head to concuss and exterminate it, thus avoiding its vicious bite.

Another rare moray eel is the brown moray eel.

Maltese:-Morina Kannella
English:-Brown Moray
Italian:-Murena Nera
Latin:-Gymnothorax unicolor


It is very similar to M.Helena but much less common. It is uniformly dark or reddish-brown in colour with fins having paler edges.

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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2008, 13:26:14 CET »

Well done Arti2 for sharing such amazing information with us  Wink
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2008, 15:07:24 CET »

Rabbitfishes or Spinefoots

The Spinefoots are found mainly in tropical Indian and Pacific oceans. Only one specimen occurs in the Mediterranean, mainly in the east. Most of the members of this group (Siganidae) have a laterally compressed body, sloping at the front of the head to a rounded blunt snout. Most have a single, forward pointing spine at the origin of the dorsal fin (somewhat like a unicorn). This fin has also thirteen other sharp spines anteriorly, and a lobed soft rayed section at the back. The anal fin has 7 spines and 9 soft rays behind.Their pelvic fins, which are formed from two spines, with 3 soft rays between them. The spines are strong and pointed to inflict painful wounds and are loaded with venomous mucus. This species in this family are reef fishes and feed mainly on algae.


Rabbitfishes grow to about 40 cm and have small, rabbit-like mouths, large dark eyes, and a shy temperament which gives them their name; the scientific name Siganus is simply the Latin term by which Mediterranean rabbitfishes were known in Ancient Rome. Most species have either bright colors or a complex and interesting pattern.

All rabbitfish are diurnal (active by day and rest at night) , some live in schools, while others live more solitary.   Many are fished for food, and the more colorful species ? especially the foxfishes ? are often kept in aquaria. Care must be taken during aquarium maintenance and cleaning, as rabbitfishes are often easily frightened and will use their poisonous spines in defence. Their poison is not life-threatening to adult humans, but is likely to cause severe pain.

Recntly two types of spinefoots can be seen in our waters. These are the following:

Maltese:-Qawsalla
English:-Marbled Spinefoot
Italian:-N/A
Latin:-Siganus rivulatus


The body of the S.rivulatus is ovoid and deep, compressed laterally. It has a good-sized head with cospicous eyes and a small mouth. This spinefoot has a single long dorsal fin starting with a free forward pointing spine, then 13 poisonous webbed spines, and 9 to 11 soft branching rays at the hind end. The pectoral and pelvic fins are short and rounded. The anal fin is about half as long as the dorsal fin, half spiny and half rayed. The caudal fin is partially forked with a slender tail stalk. The coloration is variable and light, from brown to purple, with irregular hazy patches on the flanks and a pale underside. Frightened fish become mottled or with 6 diagonal zones across side.

It inhabits shallow waters and generally in schools of 50 to several hundred individuals; prefers protected areas. Feeds by grazing on algae.


This new species lives at edges of reefs with broken seabeds and feeds mainly on algae. Today it is becoming very common. It reached the Mediterranean from the Red sea through the Suez Canal and is steadily spreading westwards. It is common to see them schooling with the Parrot Fish Sparisoma cretense (Marzpan). Fisherman occasionally find it entangled in their trammel nets (pariti), but it has no real food value. Maximum size 27cm.

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Arti2
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2008, 15:40:16 CET »

Maltese:-No Name
English:-Dusky Spinefoot
Italian:-No Name
Latin:-Siganus luridus


It has exactly the same characteristics as S.rivulatus except it has a variable cheek scalationand a midline of thorax devoid of scales between the pelvic ridges.
It can be found in small schools in very shallow water close to the bottom but prefers hard bottoms of compacted sand with rock.


This spinefoot like the other may suddenly stop and erect its fins (dorsal, anal and pelvic) presenting an encircling array of spined to potential predators; these spines are venomous. It is a food fish that is occasionally poisonous. Maximum size 30cm.
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2008, 11:36:47 CET »

maltese name is qawsalla
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Arti2
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2008, 12:52:44 CET »

I checked on the net and it appears that the Dusky Spinefoot (Siganus luridus) does not have a common Maltese name. That's why I did not put any name.
I checked here:

http://data.gbif.org/species/13544993/commonName/Dusky%20spinefoot
and here:

http://www.fishbase.org/comnames/CommonNameSummary.cfm?autoctr=142829

While the Marbled Spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus) does have a Maltese name.

http://data.gbif.org/species/13553305/commonName/Marbled%20spinefoot

http://www.fishbase.org/comnames/CommonNameSummary.cfm?autoctr=117328

But sometimes as these two look similar both of them are called the same.
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 18:43:05 CET »

Wow arti.
That's quite an effort.
Very good information.
Well done.
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2009, 07:31:23 CET »

I agree with SimonG, we call that fish Qawsalla. Hope I will never catch one cause if it stings me I will modify the first 4 letter of it's name Lips sealed Roll Eyes
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