Journal archives for March 2017

March 24, 2017

New eel record for Lord Howe Island!

Caitlin Woods submitted this very cool image of a Blackfin Snake Eel, Ophichthus altipennis, taken on a night dive in March 2017. It turns out this species had not previously been recorded from Lord Howe Island.
Caitlin's observation represents a huge range extension for the species.
The Blackfin Snake Eel occurs in tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and northern Queensland. It is a burrowing species that usually occurs in shallow waters on soft seabeds.
As if that wasn't enough, Caitlin's sensational image of a Striate Anglerfish with Lord Howe Island's iconic Mounts Lidgbird and Gower in the background, was recently iNaturalist's Observation of the Day.
As if that wasn't enough, Caitlin's sensational image of a Striate Anglerfish with Lord Howe Island's iconic Mounts Lidgbird and Gower in the background, was recently iNaturalist's Observation of the Day.
Congratulations Caitlin!
Posted on March 24, 2017 00:18 by markmcg markmcg | 2 comments | Leave a comment

March 31, 2017

Globefish breeding ground?

Markus Stone recently alerted me to an observation he made of an unusually large school of Globefish at Portsea, Victoria. He wondered if this might have been a spawning aggregation.
I forwarded Markus' observation to Australian Museum Senior Fellow Dr Jeff Leis who stated, "I have not heard of, nor seen, this species schooling, but other species of Diodon (D. holocanthus and D. eydouxii) do school at times, so it isn't a surprise. Could indeed be a spawning aggregation."
While writing this journal entry I queried on the species name and found another observation of the same species at Portsea. This observation was made by Peter Fuller. These two observations plus a video by Markus show that this possible spawning aggregation was in the same locality for several weeks.
Thank you Markus and Peter for helping increase our knowledge of this species.
Posted on March 31, 2017 03:22 by markmcg markmcg | 5 comments | Leave a comment

March 15, 2017

New species record for Australia!

The Thread Shrimpgoby, Ctenogobiops mitodes, has not been 'formally' recorded from Australian waters.
Goby expert, Dr Doug Hoese, confirmed that observation made by Andrew Green (dentrock) was of this species.
Doug stated that he has seen several other images of this species from northern Queensland. The species has been previously recorded by Andrew and other Reef Life Survey divers and Andrew has also photographed it off north-western Western Australia.
The Thread Shrimpgoby can be recognised by a number of characters including the blue spots circling brown blotches on the sides of the body and the blue and yellow line/dashes behind the eye extending to the origin of the first dorsal fin.
The species, which occurs throughout much of the tropical Western Pacific region, is now also known from Australia. Thank you Andrew!
Reference: Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann, 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.
Posted on March 15, 2017 01:37 by markmcg markmcg | 1 comment | Leave a comment