Photo 5221211, (c) Morgan Grant, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

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Attribution © Morgan Grant
Cc by nc small some rights reserved
Uploaded by morgangrant morgangrant
Source iNaturalist
Original http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/5221211
Associated observations

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What

Matsubara's Snake Blenny Xiphasia matsubarai

Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 14, 2016 05:19 AM AEST

Description

John Herrod found this very unusual-looking fish in the gut contents of a Dorado or Mahi-mahi he caught off Townsville. I checked my tentative ID with Jeff Johnson of the Qld Museum, as this is a fish I haven't seen before. He agrees that it is likely to be Matsubara's Blenny or the Japanese Snake Blenny (Xiphasia matsubarai). It is hard to be certain because they are half-digested and pigment is missing. Jeff says he has confirmed X. setifer (in much better condition) from Mahi-mahi gut contents several times in the past, so it seems they are a favoured food item. Apart from being a bottom dweller this Blenny is also known to hang around floating objects in open water. They live in burrows in the bottom, and at night, they rise to the surface where they fall prey to pelagic fish like Mahi-mahi. They have been recorded to grow to 300mm

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