Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Fresh Water Fish of Fiji

Fiji Post issued a set of four stamps feature the fresh water fish which found in Fiji islands on May 13, 2002. The depicted species are the Redigobius sp., Spotted flagtail, Silver-stripe Mud-skipper,  Snake-head Gudgeon.

The 48 c stamp represents Redigobius fish. Redigobius sp has been observed in mid-water schooling, only in clear headwater areas. This fish is carnivorous and feeds on benthic invertebrates. There is evidence of parental care of demersal eggs. 

The main threat to this endemic fish is habitat destruction brought about by the logging activities being carried out in its only known sites; and the possibility of introduced invasive species encroaching the headwaters. Excessive gravel and boulder removal are also direct threats.

Redigobius lekutu is a goby, belonging to the family Gobiidae. Members of the family Gobiidae are generally small fishes, and this species is no exception. It measures only 3.5 cm from the snout to the tip of the tail - probably smaller than the index finger of the average adult.
The 96 c stamp represents the spotted flagtail that  is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific, from Japan to Australia and east to the Federated States of Micronesia (Caroline Islands).

The spotted flagtail (Kuhlia marginata) is a species of fish in the Kuhliidae family. It is found in Australia and Indonesia.The spotted flagtail is found in freshwater in flowing rivers and pools below waterfalls (up to 64 km upstream), often in estuaries and rarely in fully marine environments (Allen 1991).

The distinctive appearance of the spotted flagtail are vibrant silver fish, very similar to jungle perch, distinguished by distinct red colouration found on the anal fin. Upper and lower lobes of the tail are pointed. The body is deeper and forehead more sloping than in jungle perch.

The spotted flagtail breeds in estuaries or the sea and spends early stages in that environment before migrating to freshwater. The species does not penetrate rivers above waterfalls and is most commonly found in the lower and mid-catchments of any river system.
The Silverstripe Mudskipper is a resident intertidal species with homing behavior and amphibious air-breather found in brackish mud flats in mangrove and nipa palm areas.

Occasionally in the lower parts of freshwater streams . Actively shuttling back and forth between rock pools and air . Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 802 meters.

The Silverstripe Mudskipper distributed in the Indo-Pacific: southern Red Sea to South Africa, east to the Marianas and Samoa; north to Ryukyu Islands, south to western Australia and Oceania.
The 2 $ stamp represent  the Snakehead Gudgeon fresh water fish. The Snakehead Gudgeon,  is a sleeper goby of the family Eleotridae. 

It inhabits river mouths and estuaries, coastal creeks in mangrove habitats, as well as man-made prawn ponds. By day these gobies tend to remain hidden, but by night they may emerge into more open water, where they may be seen resting on the substrate.

They are identified by the pale markings across the back, which are more evident in young specimens, and by the arrangements of pale spots on the flanks. The head is relatively large, and the eyes smallish.Sleeper gobies differ from other gobies in that the pelvic fins are separate, with no connecting membrane.

The Snakehead Gudgeon is carnivorous, feeding on invertebrates or small vertebrates. The species ranges from East Africa through the Indian Ocean and the seas of Southeast Asia to the Western Pacific Ocean.

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