ANIMAL A-Z…


Learn more about our amazing animal collection. Click on a letter below to find an animal or use our animal search:

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Bannerfish, Longfin (Heniochus acuminatus)

Bannerfish, Longfin
Bannerfish, Longfin

This species gets its name from its long dorsal fin, but is often confused with the moorish idol. Due to this it is often known as the fake moorish idol or poor man's moorish idol. It is a type of butterflyfish and can grow up to 25cm long. Its body is covered in white and black bands and it has bright yellow fins and tail. 


Fun Facts...

You will often find this species eating the parasites off larger sea creatures!


Location...

This species is found in the tropical waters of the Indo Pacific and the Coasts of Africa.



Habitat...

Tropical waters including shallow sand banks and reefs.



Diet...
Zooplankton, small krill and other invertebrates.

Least Concern

Batfish, Roundfin (Platax orbicularis)

Batfish, Roundfin
Batfish, Roundfin

The roundfin batfish has a round body which is usually a reddish brown in juveniles and silvery grey in adults. They have a black bar over the pectoral fin and eye. They have large round fins and can grow to a size of about 55cm, giving this fish a commanding presence on the reef.


Fun Facts...

Baby roundfin batfish live inshore amongst mangroves and to protect themselves from predators, will float on their side on the water, resembling a floating leaf.


Location...

Found mainly in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Tuamotu Islands, then North to Japan and South to New Caledonia. They have also been recorded off the coast of Florida and the Western Central Atlantic.



Habitat...

Usually inhabit shallow and deep reefs, with juveniles living within inner lagoons. 



Diet...
Algae, invertebrates and small fishes.

Not Evaluated

Blenny, Midas (Ecsenius midas)

Blenny, Midas
The Midas Blenny is yellow/orange in colour with bright, blue rimmed eyes. Unusually, these blennies swim in a similar fashion to eels owing to their lack of swim bladders. They spend a lot of time perched on rocks near holes they can hide in, often swimming backwards into the space if necessary. 
Fun Facts...
The Midas Blenny is usually orange in colour, but can adapt its colour to more closely match the environment it is in.
Location... Indo-west Pacific and southeast coast of Africa.

Habitat... Found on coral reefs, in depths of up to 30m.

Diet...
Plankton and algae

Least Concern

Blenny, Tompot (Parablennius gattorugine)

Blenny, Tompot
Blenny, Tompot

The tompot is a stoutly built blenny which is usually about 15-20cm long although it can be up to 30cm. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the tompot are the two branched head tentacles, which are located above the eyes, and with the bulging eyes and thick lips, this character can look quite comical. The front half of the long dorsal fin is composed of stiff, spiny rays, whilst the back half is made up of soft rays.


Fun Facts...

The tufts or "cirri" on a tompot blenny's head are thought to be used as sensory organs when searching for food.


Location...

This species is common on the south, west and north coasts of Britain and Ireland but can also be found in the Mediterranean Sea.



Habitat...

This species is usually found in holes, on rocky ledges or amongst boulders and seaweeds at depths down to approximately 20cm.



Diet...
Sea anemones and crustaceans.

Least Concern

Brittlestar, Common (Ophiothrix fragilis)

Brittlestar, Common
Brittlestar, Common

The brittlestar has five long arms, which radiate out from a central disc. The mouth of the brittlestar is located on the underside of this disc. Brittlestars can be difficult to spot, in the wild they would usually be found hiding in crevices under corals and usually emerge at night to feed on plankton. This species can be found around the majority of the British Isles and is often found in very large numbers, with as many as 2000 individuals found per square metre. Many animals will predate on the brittlestar, however the brittlestar has a number of methods to avoid predation, such as camouflage and hiding in crevices. The brittlestar can also detach any of it's arms as an escape mechanism, which it will then grow back. 

 


Fun Facts...

Brittlestars filter plankton out of the water using their roughly spined arms. The brittlestar is very closely related to the starfish. 


Location...

The common brittlestar can be found around all British and Irish coasts, with the exceptions of the east coast of Scotland, the Humber Estuary, north-east Anglia and the south Kent coast. This species  is also distributed throughout  the eastern Atlantic, from northern Norway to South Africa. 



Habitat...

The common brittlestar is most often found on hard substrates, such as bedrock, boulders or coarse sediment. 



Diet...
Plankton

Not Evaluated

Bull Huss (Scyliorhinus stellaris)

Bull Huss
Bull Huss

The bull huss is referred to by a number of other names, such as nursehound, large-spotted dogfishgreater-spotted dogfish, or greater-spotted catshark. It is a large catshark, which can reach lengths of 1.6 metres and is found distributed throughout the British Isles. It has a short and broad head, and fairly large pectoral fins. It is pale brown in colour dorsally, with small dark spots and has a white underbelly.


Fun Facts...

The bull huss is an oviparous fish, this means it lays eggs. The eggs are known as mermaid's purses and can often be found washed up on the beach around the British Isles. 


Location...

The bull huss is found in the northeast Atlantic, from southern Scandinavia to Morocco, including in the Mediterranean Sea.



Habitat...

The bull huss is most commonly found at depths of around 20-63m and seems to have a preference for rocky substrates with good algal cover. 



Diet...
Feeds primarily on crustaceans, but will also eat molluscs, such as squid, and bony fish.

Near Threatened

Butterfish (Pholis gunnellus)

Butterfish
Butterfish

The butterfish has a long, slender, eel-like body which is flattened from side to side. It has a very slippery skin and is difficult to pick up, hence its common name. The colouration is usually yellowish-brown with darker brown mottling. The most characteristic feature of the butterfish is a row of 9-15 black spots, each surrounded by a white ring, along the base of the dorsal fin. Adult fish are between 17cm and 25cm in length.


Fun Facts...

Spawning November to January, the female lays a ball of 200 eggs under rocks or in an empty shell. The male then guards the eggs until they hatch.


Location...

Common around the coasts of Britain and Ireland. 



Habitat...

Usually found beneath boulders and seaweeds on the low shore. It frequently hides amongst seaweed or in crevices in the rock.



Diet...
Small crustaceans, polychaetes, molluscs and fish eggs.

Not Evaluated

Butterflyfish, Copperband (Chelmon rostratus)

Butterflyfish, Copperband
Butterflyfish, Copperband
The copperband butterflyfish has a long narrow nose used for hunting prey in holes and crevices. They have yellow-orange vertical bands with a black edging. This species has a false eyespot on the rear of the dorsal fin making them difficult to mistake for other types. They can have up to nine dorsal spines and three anal spines. They reach up to about 20cm in length.
Fun Facts...
They are very territoral and may be aggressive towards members of their own kind. Their eggs are very buoyant and will float along with the current until they hatch! 
Location... This fish is typically found in the Western Pacific, in the Andaman sea to the Ryukyu Islands and Australia.

Habitat... They can be found singly or in pairs along rocky shores, coral reefs and also in estuaries and silty inner reefs.

Diet...
Primarily carnivorous. Benthic invertebrates and mysis shrimp.

Least Concern

Butterflyfish, Pearlscale (Chaetodon xanthurus)

Butterflyfish, Pearlscale
Also known as the cross-hatch butterflyfish.
Fun Facts...

Location... Western Pacific Ocean rim.

Habitat...

Diet...


Least Concern
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Santa and his helpers are putting the finishing touches to his grotto and fattening up the reindeer ready for their long journey to SeaQuarium Rhyl. 

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FREE Activity Booklet!

During your visit to the SeaQuarium, don’t forget to take part in our free children’s activity booklet.
Pick up a booklet, find the answers to the questions around SeaQuarium and play some fun games along the way! Children will even receive a sticker at the end of their visit when shown to a member of staff!

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