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  • Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, Rainbow Harbour, Long Beach, California, United States
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  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing reef fish and coral predator fish at the Aquarium of the Pacific, California, United States. This colourful exhibit includes parrotfish and butterflyfish.

More info: Butterflyfish are some of the most beautiful and colourful reef fish. They are among the most common sights on reefs throughout the world. The 120 butterflyfish species are mainly found on shallow reefs in the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Butterflyfish are well known for their bright colours and elaborate patterns and markings. Many have dark bands and one or more large “eyespots” on their flanks that may serve to confuse predators and a dark “mask” across their eyes. Butterflyfish have deep, thin bodies with a relatively long snout and a small mouth. They feed on a variety of small crustaceans and on coral polyps.

Parrotfish are close relatives of the wrasse and are abundant in and around the tropical reefs of all the world's oceans. Parrotfish spend most of their day eating algae off coral reefs and play a crucial part in the reef ecosystem. This almost-constant feeding performs the essential task of cleaning the reefs which helps the corals stay healthy and thriving.
The parrotfish teeth are cemented together to form a “beak” which is strong enough to break off bits of coral. The teeth are composed of fluorapatite, among the hardest biominerals in the world. The parrotfishes’ digestive system, which includes more teeth inside its throat, breaks down coral fragments into the white sands that make South Pacific beaches famous. Known as bioerosion, this process helps control algae populations and create new surfaces for baby corals to attach to and grow. Scientists estimate that a single Chlorurus gibbus parrotfish can poop out more than 2,000 pounds of sand each year!

A unique feature of some parrotfishes is the production of a mucous envelope to sleep in at night. The envelope takes about 30 minutes to construct and is open at both ends to allow water flow. The secreted envelope is foul smelling and tasting, which may serve to deter night time predators that hunt by scent.

The beautifully coloured parrot fish is known to change its shape, colour, and even gender during its life.

Anthias belong to the grouper and sea bass family and are also known as the swallowtail sea perch or marine goldfish. They are found in areas with reefs in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Their bright colouring of pink to red with 3 yellow stripes on the sides of their heads, makes them very distinguishable and very popular in aquariums.

Wrasses are abundant in shallow-water reefs and rocky shores and are found worldwide, in tropical and temperate seas. Wrasses belong to the Labridae family which is the second largest family of marine fishes. Some small wrasse act as cleaners to larger fish such as groupers and eels, by picking off and eating external parasites. Wrasses are only active during the day and at night they seek shelter in sand and rock crevices.