Create-a-Creature By: JENSINE VARGHESE Period 5

Name of organism

Tetraodontidae lumenictus is the scientific name for the Glow-Blow Fish. Its interesting features of glowing and blowing up, in order to attract both prey and a mate, gives the creature its special name. It gets its scientific name because it is related to the puffer fish and blow fish; therefore, it belongs to the same genus of Tetradontidae. The species name comes from a combination of the latin words lumen, which means glow, and ictus, which means blow.

a fully illuminated and blown-up Glow-Blow Fish

Ocean Zone and Habitat

The Tetraodontidae lumenictus lives in a multitude of zones. It lives in the Pelagic Zone, which is any part of the ocean that is above the Benthic Zone. This zone is divided by depth, horizontally, and vertically. The Glow-Blow Fish is found in the Oceanic Zone when divided horizontally. This zone extends from the continental slope into the rest of the ocean. This organism is found in the Twilight/Disphotic Zone, which extends from about 200 meters to 1000 meters. There is not enough light here for photosynthesis; therefore, there are no plants. There is little oxygen in this high pressure, cold environment. Many organisms in this dark area have large eyes to be able to see bioluminescent light flashes from its mates. When divided by depth, the Twilight Zone is called the Mesopelagic Zone. The Glow-Blow fish lives in coral reefs in this zone and are mainly found in the deep sea coral reefs in Hawaii.

the coral reef habitat of the Glow-Blow Fish

PHYSICAL TRAITS AND ADAPTATIONS TO ENVIORNMENT

  • Color: The Glow-Blow Fish has a black color so that it can blend in with the pitch-black environment it lives in. This keeps it hidden from predators, such as the greenland shark, giant squid, and sperm whale.
  • Fins: When it spots its prey, the fish uses the bioluminescent properties of its fins to glow. The prey is attracted to the glowing of the fish fins and becomes the Glow-Blow Fish's next meal. It also helps it move.
  • Tail: The tail helps the fish attract a mate; therefore, when the fish senses a potential mate nearby, it begins to light up its tail. This attracts the potential mate to them because of both the glowing and shape of the tail. It also plays a part in the mobility of the fish.
  • Large Eyes: It is nearly impossible to see in the twilight zone; however, the large eyes of the Glow-Blow Fish allow it to see bioluminescence of a potential mate.
  • Nose: The Glow-Blow Fish has a particularly strong sense of smell that helps it find its mate based on the pheromones that their specific species of fish emit.
  • Eye Hooks: The eye hooks extend the eyes of the fish out of its head. This allows for it to see farther from itself than if the eyes were simply attached to its head.
  • Blowing Up: In its normal state, the Glow-Blow fish is very small and black. When it sees a prey, predator, or mate, it blows up to its maximum size, hence its name.
  • Glowing: As expressed before, the glowing of the fins plays a part in attracting prey and the glowing the tail helps attract a mate.
  • Size: The fish is usually about two inches large, but it can expand to about six to seven inches. The small size helps it to swim quickly towards prey and away from predators. Its ability to become large helps attract its mate and scare away some predators.

Locomotion

The Glow-Blow Fish uses its pectoral fins and tail to swim and move around. It swishes its tail rapidly from side to side which pushes it forward. The pectoral fins on either sides of its body keep the fish balanced as it moves so that it is not swimming in a flailing motion. They can act as brakes when the fish needs to stop moving. The pectoral fins also help the Glow-Blow Fish maneuver through difficult areas.

Respiration

Although the Glow-Blow fish has a nose to smell pheromones released by the opposing sex, it does not use it for respiration. The fish have special gill only found on this type of fish. The porous skin of the fish is actually constituted of many tiny, circle-shaped gills. The pores take in the oxygen dissolved in the water, which then goes through its thin blood vessels and enter the bloodstream. This oxygenates the blood to be used for metabolic activity and energy.

Feeding

The Glow-Blow Fish mainly preys on snails, slugs, and small shrimp. When the Glow-Blow Fish is in need of food, it lights up its triangle-shaped fins, which attracts its prey. When the animal comes to the Glow-Blow fish, it blows up to expand the size of its mouth and opens it to swalow the prey. It has no teeth so it swallows its food whole and uses its strong digestive system to break down the food.

snail that a Glow-Blow fish might feed on

Reproduction

To begin the process of reproduction, the Glow-Blow Fish must find a mate. The male has to do most of the work. First, both fish illuminate by using the bioluminescent properties of their tails. They also blow up to maximum size. This attracts them to one another because they like the reddish tint of the glow. Once this happens, the Glow-Blow Fish must find a safe area for the female to lay its eggs, which is usually in a deep sea coral reef. He must bring the female there so that she can lay her eggs. The male then inseminates the eggs and the female leaves. The male is given the task of watching over the developing eggs and keeping away predators.

Defense Strategies

Its main predators are the greenland shark, giant squid, and sperm whale.

  • Camouflage- The main defense of the Glow-Blow Fish is its ability to blend in. When it knows there is a predator nearby, it turns off its light and becomes virtually invisible in the pitch-black depths of its habitat.
  • Stay Hidden- At night, its best defense is to stay hidden in the safety of its coral reef habitat. This is the best way to avoid predators and safely sleep.
  • Hit and Run- When the Glow-Blow Fish is caught by surprise it does not have time to camouflage into the darkness right away. Once it is attacked, it blows up and uses all of its force to hit its predator in the eye. Then it deflates to its regular size because it is quicker in this state and swims away as fast as it can.

Plankton, Nekton, or Benthos?

The Glow-Blow Fish is part of the category of Nekton. These are organisms that propel themselves through the water, usually by swimming. This includes vertebrates and invertebrates. The Glow-Blow Fish does exactly that. It is a vertebrate that uses its tail and fins to swim through the water.

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