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Biomes Marine Biology Center Biomes Marine Biology Center review and species list

Discussion in 'United States' started by ThylacineAlive, 28 Mar 2019.

  1. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    20 Oct 2012
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Back at the end of November I visited the Biomes Marine Biology Center for the first time. This small aquarium is one that I’ve known about for years, being only 10 minutes or so from where my aunt and grandmother live in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. I’d never visited, however, due to not having time, not having a vehicle, and/or simply not knowing it was a public aquarium. The aquarium is small, located inside what looks like an old warehouse, and is comprised of three rows of tanks. The main row begins with a mangrove enclosure, which is one of only a few examples of natural exhibitry here. The second row (to one’s left on entry) begins with a small children’s play area with mostly pet store species exhibited along the wall. The third row (to one’s right on entry) begins with a small reptile area featuring mainly native turtles as well as some common pet store species. The majority of collection comprises of wild caught native Western North Atlantic species, including many that are rarely seen in captivity. Most of the tanks are your average pet store variety and hold (mainly) smaller fish/invertebrate species or small specimens of larger species. They have a series of larger makeshift tanks as well, most of which look like small touch pools with “do not touch” signs on them. The signage in general is ok but not great. Most species are signed and have a little information on them, but very few include scientific names and there are a few tanks that are completely unlabeled. I asked the owner why there were no scientific names and he told me he used to include them but removed them because they confused visitors… This facility definitely won’t be winning any awards or ZooChat points, but overall it’s a decent and interest place. It’s very clearly someone’s passion project and I think they’ve done fairly well here. The aquarium is only 20 minutes from Roger Williams Park Zoo so I’d definitely recommend checking it out if anyone’s ever visiting the state.

    I do not know how often the collection changes out, however this was the species list I could identify as of 11/30/18:

    Gulf Toadfish Opsanus beta
    Green Moray Eel Gymnothorax funebris
    Bandtail Puffer Sphoeroides spengleri
    Northern Puffer Sphoeroides maculatus
    Planehead Filefish Stephanolepis hispidus
    Atlantic Spadefish Chaetodipterus faber
    Atlantic Sergeant Major Abudefduf saxatilis
    Norfolk Spot Croaker Leiostomus xanthurus
    Atlantic Lookdown Selene vomer
    Atlantic Moonfish Selene setapinnis
    Black-Tailed Humbug Damselfish Dascyllus melanurus
    Bicolor Damselfish Stegastes partitus
    Mangrove Snapper Lutjanus griseus
    Tautog Tautoga onitis
    Cunner Wrasse Tautogolabrus adspersus
    American Conger Eel Conger oceanicus
    Brown-Banded Bamboo-Shark Chiloscyllium punctatum
    Chain Dogfish Scyliorhinus retifer
    Striped Mullet Mugil cephalus
    Northern Searobin Prionotus carolinus
    Striped Burrfish Chilomycterus schoepfi
    Long-Spined Porcupinefish Diodon holocanthus
    Mummichog Killifish Fundulus heteroclitus macrolepidotus
    Northern Sheepshead Pupfish Cyprinodon variegatus variegatus
    Spotfin Butterflyfish Chaetodon ocellatus
    Four-Spined Stickleback Apeltes quadracus
    Atlantic Three-Spined Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus aculeatus
    Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda
    Yellow Crevalle Jack Caranx hippos
    Florida Pompano Trachinotus carolinus
    Great Pompano Trachinotus goodei
    Common Remora Remora remora
    Little Skate Leucoraja erinacea
    Bermuda Blue Angelfish Holacanthus bermudensis
    Grey Triggerfish Balistes capriscus
    Queen Triggerfish Balistes vetula
    Hogchoker Freshwater Flounder Trinectes maculatus
    Striped Searobin Prionotus evolans
    Atlantic Scup Stenotomus chrysops
    Silver Jenny Mojarra Eucinostomus gula
    Summer Flounder Paralichthys dentatus
    Red-Finned Sharkminnow Epalzeorhynchos frenatum
    Black Skirt Tetra Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
    Colombian Tetra Hyphessobrycon columbianus
    Freshwater Angelfish Pterophyllum scalare
    Bluegill Lepomis macrochirus
    Domestic Goldfish Carassius auratus auratus
    American Eel Anguilla rostrata
    Pacific Chestnut Moray Gymnothorax castaneus
    Spotted Scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri
    High-Hat Drum Pareques acuminatus
    Foureye Butterflyfish Chaetodon capistratus
    Atlantic Reef Butterflyfish Chaetodon sedentarius
    Black Sea Bass Centropristis striata
    Striped Bass Morone saxatilis
    Atlantic Anglerfish Lophius americanus
    Northern Kingcroaker Menticirrhus saxatilis
    Squeteague Weakfish Cynoscion regalis
    Common Pinfish Lagodon rhomboides
    Spottail Pinfish Diplodus holbrookii
    Striped Killifish Fundulus majalis
    Epaulette Shark Hemiscyllium ocellatum
    Yellow Stingray Urobatis jamaicensis
    Atlantic Blue-Spotted Cornetfish Fistularia tabacaria
    Atlantic Needlefish Strongylura marina
    Red Lionfish Pterois volitans
    Winter Flounder Pseudopleuronectes americanus
    Atlantic Striped Blenny Chasmodes bosquianus
    Feather Blenny Hypsoblennius hentz
    Dusky Smooth Dogfish Mustelus canis canis
    Clearnose Skate Raja eglanteria
    Ocean Pout Zoarces americanus
    Buffalo Trunkfish Lactophrys trigonus
    Honeycomb Cowfish Acanthostracion polygonius
    Scrawled Cowfish Acanthostracion quadricornis
    Northern Pipefish Syngnathus fuscus
    Red Grouper Epinephelus morio
    Glasseye Snapper Heteropriacanthus cruentatus
    Western Atlantic Sea Raven Hemitripterus americanus
    Skilletfish Gobiesox strumosus
    Longfin Bannerfish Heniochus acuminatus
    Striped Doctorfish Tang Acanthurus chirurgus
    Pacific Blue Tang Paracanthurus hepatus
    Yellow Tang Zebrasoma flavescens
    Short Bigeye Pristigenys alta
    Slender Sharksucker Echeneis naucrates
    Convict Cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata
    Blue-Grey Mbuna Pseudotropheus johannii
    Common Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
    Pictus Catfish Pimelodus pictus
    Redfin Parrotfish Sparisoma rubripinne
    Lined Seahorse Hippocampus erectus
    Unidentified Sparidae sp.

    Atlantic Pygmy Octopus Octopus joubini
    Long-Clawed Hermit Crab Pagurus longicarpus
    Atlantic Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus
    Forbes Sea Star Asterias forbesi
    Atlantic Purple Sea Urchin Arbacia punctulata
    Black-Fingered Mud Crab Panopeus herbstii
    Common American Shore Shrimp Palaemonetes vulgaris
    Common European Grass Shrimp Palaemon elegans
    Coastal Mud Shrimp Upogebia affinis
    Northern Brown Shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus
    Short-Spined Brittle Star Ophioderma brevispina
    Sargassum Swimming Crab Portunus sayi
    Striped Shore Crab Pachygrapsus crassipes
    Atlantic Rock Crab Cancer irroratus
    European Green Crab Carcinus maenas
    Atlantic Ghost Crab Ocypode quadrata
    Jonah Crab Cancer borealis
    American Lobster Homarus americanus
    Knobbed Whelk Busycon carica
    Channeled Whelk Busycotypus canaliculatus
    Brazilian Salmon-Pink Bird-Eating Spider Lasiodora parahybana
    Unidentified Libinia sp.
    Unidentified crab sp.

    Green Anole Anolis carolinensis
    Standing’s Day Gecko Phelsuma standingi
    Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina carolina
    Red-Eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans
    Common Musk Turtle Sternotherus odoratus
    Alligator Snapping Turtle Macrochelys temminckii
    Yellow-Bellied Slider Trachemys scripta scripta
    Common Mud Turtle Kinosternon subrubrum
    Western Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta bellii
    Common Boa Boa constrictor
    African Spurred Tortoise Centrochelys sulcata
    Tropical Girdled Lizard Cordylus tropidosternum

    Axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum
    Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates leucomelas
    Green-and-Black Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates auratus
    African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis

  2. geomorph

    geomorph Well-Known Member 10+ year member Premium Member

    28 May 2009
    Newport Beach, CA, USA
    That is a large variety of fish species, makes it sound like a bigger facility than it is...there are many species I’m sure I have never seen in my extensive US aquarium visits!
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    20 Oct 2012
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Indeed! I was very surprised with how large their collection really is. Just checked and I got 21 fish lifers and 13 invertebrate lifers at this collection-- and I've seen over 1250 fish and nearly 500 invertebrates (not counting unidentified species obviously).

  4. Hipporex

    Hipporex Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    19 Oct 2018
    California, United States
    Is it hard keeping a list for all those animals? I was considering making species life lists but once I realized how hard keeping track would be and considering I, compared to other zoochat members, stink at identifying wild species, I gave up. (I did decide however to make one just for mammals)
  5. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    20 Oct 2012
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I mean I started seriously zoo-going in 2011 (when I was in 8th grade) and have kept track since my very first visit (Bronx) so I haven't had to worry much about trying to figure out what I've seen in the past. I also always take a notebook to the new collections I visit and record every species I see lifer or not* so I've never struggled to keep track. I originally had a Google site where I made pages for specific zoos and made species pages for all the animals I saw there including photos I took (basically a less well done zooinstitutes but with more species info. and less photos). In 2013 I created a new site that just listed all the species I've seen with a species information page for each that included the zoos I'd seen them at and my best photo if I had one. I think it was in 2017 when @TeaLovingDave convinced me that I should make Excel sheets as back-ups in case Google sites ever shut down. I very quickly abandoned the sites after starting the sheets, however, as I quickly learned that they were much, much more efficient (except for including photos...) and have stuck with them ever since. @jayjds2 tells me I should switch to Google Docs, which I might eventually, but for now I'm pretty happy with what I've got.

    Identifying species has always been a struggle, and it's something I've been trying to work on for years now with a long way to go yet. There are probably hundreds of invertebrates I've seen that I've never identified and dozens of fish, even a few birds and herps. It's always annoying for me, but it's not stopped me yet!

    To answer simply, no, I don't find it difficult to keep track but I've very rarely had to try and look back in time in order to do so. I think it's fun and useful to keep track. Most people I know tell me I'm crazy for keeping track of fish and inverts but I don't listen to haters like TLD, Jay, and @ShonenJake13 :p ;)

    *For returning visits I don't keep as strict a listing except for lifers, especially for zoos I visit often like Bronx.

  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member 10+ year member

    16 May 2010
    Wilds of Northumberland
    You say that, but I do keep track of cartilaginous fish :p
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  7. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    10 Nov 2015
    I have a fish lifelist! But after I got to the second fish I decided to take a break. I’ve been on break for over a year now :p
    TinoPup and ThylacineAlive like this.
  8. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

    3 Mar 2009
    Zaragoza, Spain
    In fact I would consider as crazy any people that keep track of tetrapods but NOT fish and invertebrates!
  9. Birdlover

    Birdlover Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    4 Apr 2018
    Rhode Island
    Visited yesterday and I wanted to mention they have a Sand Tilefish Malacanthus plumieri. This individual represents the first wild record for New England!
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2022
  10. ZooElephantMan

    ZooElephantMan Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    19 Apr 2015
    I visited this small aquarium for the first time yesterday, and it is a very quirky place. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was that there are murals literally everywhere: on the façade, on the windows, on the ceiling, on the floor, you name it. Besides the murals, the interior of the building feels like the inside of a dimly-lit grocery store, but instead of having aisles with shelves of food on each side, there are aisles surrounded on both sides by fish tanks. The tanks themselves are pretty much all pet store quality, although different tanks use sand brought in from different beaches throughout the state of Rhode Island, which I found interesting.

    They also had a ton of presentations throughout the day, and I went to one in which a Northern Pufferfish was tickled until it inflated full of water. The staff member then picked the pufferfish up in their hands to give us a closer look. After a few seconds the pufferfish deflated and water blew out of its mouth and gills onto the floor, before the fish was returned to its tank. I felt a little mixed about this presentation. It was very cool to see this pufferfish behavior, but I also feel like I’d heard that it was dangerous for a pufferfish to inflate (and also that pufferfish can be hard animals to transfer properly without injuring them). I don’t know much about fish husbandry, so there is a chance I am incorrect and the pufferfish demonstration was fine, but I would appreciate people’s comments if anyone here knows more about best practices for keeping pufferfish in captivity.
    Smaggledagle, TinoPup and Neil chace like this.
  11. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    17 Jul 2016
    I have a species list I meant to post for here but apparently forgot about. It's not a year out of date :) Also have photos of all the tanks, which is a lot. They didn't have any shows like that on my visit. I'm not sure about the pufferfish, either.
    ZooElephantMan likes this.