Wow! I’ve never seen this fish before!

Dr Dave Harasti is a Senior Marine Scientist with the NSW Department of Industry. On 11th February 2017 he photographed an unusual fish in Nelson Bay.

Dave knew the fish was a dragonet, but didn't know which species. After six comments from the community the mystery was solved by Dianne Bray from Museum Victoria, who identified the fish as a Whitespotted Dragonet, Orbonymus rameus.

The observation extends the known distribution of the species south by more than 350km from Yamba, NSW. This the first time most people will have seen a photograph of the species underwater.

Whitespotted Dragonet Dave Harasti

In Australia, the Whitespotted Dragonet occurs in tropical waters from the Houtman Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and on the east coast south to Nelson Bay (Dave's new observation). It usually occurs on sandy or rubbly seabeds in depths between 23m and 75m (reference).

The species was named in 1926 by Australian Museum Ichthyologist Allan McCulloch

Posted by markmcg markmcg, February 23, 2017 12:27 AM


You may have noticed the different common names used in the journal post and on the site. The post used the Australian standard name "Whitespotted Dragonet", the site used "Split-fin Dragonet". This discrepancy is being addressed. :)

Posted by markmcg almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Cool! Love seeing iNat being used this way..

Posted by ryber almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Thanks @ryber. The Australasian Fishes Project within iNaturalist is pulling in some really interesting observations. The community is growing steadily which is particularly encouraging.

Posted by markmcg almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Beautiful fish. Nice one. Ken

Posted by ken_flan almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Totally agree with all above comments; fantastic find great image and yet more proof of how successful and exciting is this thing called inaturalist!

Posted by davemmdave almost 6 years ago (Flag)

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