Journal archives for May 2017

May 11, 2017

Who let the Bullrout out?

Bullrout normally live in tidal estuaries and slow-flowing freshwater streams. These two are 'all at sea'.
Dave Harasti uploaded this image of two Bullrout seen on a White Shark BRUV (baited remote underwater video) set on a sandy seabed at a depth of 9 m, off Bennett's Beach, Hawks Nest, New South Wales.
The species is infrequently seen in marine waters so it was a surprise to see them on the video.
Because of the Bullrout's rarity in marine waters, we initially thought that the fish might be a Soldier. After more detailed examination, we concluded that they were Bullrout. The world scorpionfish expert, Dr Hiroyuki Motomura, kindly confirmed our identification. Thank you Hiro-san!
The Bullrout is an Australian endemic species that occurs from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales. The fish in Dave's observation are within the known range of the species.
If you catch one, please handle it with extreme care. The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines all have venom glands. A puncture wound from one of these spines can be excruciatingly painful.
Posted on May 11, 2017 23:03 by markmcg markmcg | 5 comments | Leave a comment

May 03, 2017

Cowtail Ray goes astray

This is a 'tropical species', so what the heck is it doing in the cooler waters of Sydney?
Cowtail Rays normally live in tropical waters. In Australia the species is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and down the east coast as far south as northern New South Wales.
This observation of a Cowtail Ray, made by Benjamin Wynand, in Cabbage Tree Bay, Sydney, extends the known distribution of the species south by nearly 600 km.
It's a well-known fact that juvenile fishes ride the East Australian Current down from warmer northerly waters. Many of these juvenile fishes do not survive the cool winters. In recent years however we have seen many examples of tropical fishes occurring well south of their 'recognised distribution' and some surviving the cool winter months.
Thank you Benjamin for submitting your observation and thanks also to Clinton Duffy and Sascha Schulz for their identifications.
More information about fish range extensions can be found on the Redmap website.
Posted on May 03, 2017 01:47 by markmcg markmcg | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 19, 2017

Seadragon Shots sought for Science

Have you taken images of seadragons? If so, you can contribute to current research.
Professor David Booth and his team at UTS Fish Ecology Lab has been researching weedy seadragons since 2001, but more recently has teamed with Underwater Research Group (URG) to kick start a spot pattern-recognition study using (seadragon abdomen/flank) photos taken by divers. You can help!
Australasian Fishes currently contains 60 observations of the species, but but the 'seadragon group’ need more. Please consider uploading your images so they can be used in this exciting research.
The Common Seadragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, is endemic to Australian temperate marine waters. It occurs from the central coast of New South Wales, around the southern coast of Australia to south-western Western Australia.
The standard name of the species in Australia is 'Common Seadragon', but many people know the fish by the name 'Weedy Seadragon'.
The images above (thank you pfuller and eschloegl) show male Common Seadragons with eggs attached to the underside of their tails.
For more information contact Dr Selma Klanten (Oya.Klanten@uts.edu.au)
Posted on May 19, 2017 04:04 by markmcg markmcg | 8 comments | Leave a comment