This pufferfish has at least a few claims to fame.
First, its mating involves love bites, like the one captured in the photograph. Second, males construct intricate circles with geometric designs on the seafloor off the coast of Amami-Ōshima Island. The structures, measuring about 6 feet in diameter, function as spawning nests. They not only attract the attention of females, but also help to minimize ocean currents with their carefully designed ridges and grooves.
While this pufferfish rounds out the top 10 for 2015, Wheeler and his team are already contemplating what new species might be found next.
He said, "It is time to mount a mission to planet Earth to distinguish, describe, name and classify its life-forms before it is too late. The Top 10 is a reminder of the wonders awaiting us."
NOAA Salutes the Ocean: Photos