Journal archives for February 2017

February 03, 2017

Are yellow seahorses always seen on yellow sponges?

Andrew Trevor-Jones is a Sydney resident who has been diving for over 38 years. He's dived at ‘The Monument’ at Kurnell more than 100 times, so often in fact, that he now recognises individual seahorses.

Seahorse on yellow Seahorse on green Andrew Trevor-Jones

On 14 January 2017 Andrew saw a yellow seahorse on a yellow sponge. One would naturally think that this is all about camouflage. Two weeks later however (30 January) the same fish was holding onto a green sponge Andrew has also seen the fish on a brown sponge. He stated that “Yesterday, (1 Feb), she was back on the yellow sponge, so I think that is her preference.”

Thank you Andrew for your ongoing contribution to Australasian Fishes. Long-term observations of individual fishes by divers can really help contribute to knowledge of our fish fauna.

In closing this small post, I thought that some of you might have wondered if fishes can change colour. If so, this post on the Australian Museum website might be of interest.

Posted on February 03, 2017 00:40 by markmcg markmcg | 30 comments | Leave a comment

February 10, 2017

10,000 observations and counting!

Congratulations my fellow fish friends, we have reached a huge milestone, the Australasian Fishes Project now has more than 10,000 observations. The ‘10,000th fish’ was a juvenile Bridled Triggerfish Sufflamen fraenatum (left image below).

Bridled Triggerfish Greynurse Shark Eastern Red Scorpionfish

A huge thank you to all the community; those of you who have uploaded observations and those of you who have added identifications and excellent comments. It only took us 4 months to pass this significant figure. I’m thrilled with how well the Project is going. Please keep up the great work, and hold on tight, we have big plans…

The member who added the 10,000th image was Sascha Schulz. Those of you who use the Project regularly will be aware that Sacha is one of the top contributors of observations and has made over 3,500 identifications, more than anyone else. You may not know, however, that Sascha isn't a great fan of selfies and for this reason is known in the diving community as “Shadow”. Three of his fish photos are shown above. Thank you Sascha, your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Posted on February 10, 2017 01:08 by markmcg markmcg | 8 comments | Leave a comment

February 17, 2017

New species record for Sydney Harbour!

In November 2016, John Turnbull photographed a fish that had not previously been recorded from Sydney Harbour. His observation of a Clown Toby, Canthigaster callisterna, in Camp Cove brings the species count for Sydney Harbour to 591.

John Turnbull Clown Toby

The Clown Toby is a small pufferfish that occurs from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales as well as Elizabeth Reef and Lord Howe Island.

The richness of Sydney Harbour’s fish fauna can be put into perspective when compared with 540 species recorded from the Mediterranean Sea and 276 from UK coastal waters to a depth of 200 m (more information).

.John, who founded the Marine Explorer website has been a huge contributor to Australasian Fishes, submitting more than 1000 observations (over 300 species). Thank you John!

Posted on February 17, 2017 00:49 by markmcg markmcg | 2 comments | Leave a comment

February 23, 2017

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 on February 23, 2017 00:27 by markmcg markmcg | 5 comments | Leave a comment

February 28, 2017

Spot the fish!

 
Everyone knows what camouflage is, but few people will have seen a fish so well camouflaged as the one in the image below.

This stunning photo was taken by Andrew Green (dentrock). It shows a Goram Dragonet (Diplogrammus goramensis) on a sandy seabed.

Goram Dragonet Andrew Green

As well as being an excellent underwater fish spotter and photographer, Andrew is a co-author of the book Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia, co-author of The Manual Of Underwater Photography and a keen diver with Reef Life Survey.

The Goram Dragonet is a tropical marine species that occurs in Western Pacific waters. In Australia it is known from Western Australia and Queensland.

Thank you Andrew!

Posted on February 28, 2017 04:04 by markmcg markmcg | 2 comments | Leave a comment