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  1. #1651
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    Flagtail Blanquillo, Malacanthus brevirostris

    The Flagtail Blanquillo often hovers in pairs above the bottom over rocky, sandy or rubble areas. When threatened, they usually dive into their burrow.

    Max Size: 32 cm

    Bluestripe Pipefish, Doryrhamphus excisus

    Distribution: Widespread throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region, from the Persian Gulf and east Africa to the west coast of the Americas in the Eastern Pacific. Recorded in Australian waters from north of Clerke Reef (Western Australia) and the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef (Queensland).

    Size: 7 cm.

    Colour: Orange-yellow with broad dark blue dorsal stripe continuing darker and narrower onto head to front of snout; caudal fin orange with large reddish brown blotches and white upper and lower margins.

    Fisheries: Sometimes collected for the aquarium trade, and sold both as curios and for the Traditional Chinese Medicine trade.

    Orangebarred Puffer, Polyspina piosae


    Common Bellowsfish, Macroramphosus scolopax

    Distribution: Known in Australian waters from Cape York, Queensland, south to New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and across to the western edge of the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia.

    Size: Although the Common Bellowsfish reaches a maximum total length of 228 mm (Atlantic Ocean, off Portugal), the species reportedly grows to 180mm in Australian waters.

    Colour: Body reddish-pink to orange above, pale to silvery below, fins pink; pelagic juveniles overall silvery-blue.

    Biology: Reproduction: Oviparous, sexes separate. Reproduction takes place during January and February.

  2. #1652
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    Western Seacarp, Aplodactylus westralis

    Distribution: Known from about Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, to Rottnest Island and just north of Perth, Western Australia. Common in weedy reef areas, to 20 m.

    Features: Meristic features: Dorsal fin XVII-XVIII, 18-19; Anal fin III, 7; Pectoral fin i, 13-14; Lateral-line scales 92-100; gill rakers 6-9 + 14-18 = 21-25; Vertebrae 16+18=34.

    Feeding: Feeds on algae.

    New Zealand eagle ray

    Description: The New Zealand eagle ray is a cartilaginous fish with a roughly circular disc-like body, a projecting frog-like head, large fleshy pectoral fins and a long tail armed with a spine that is capable of injecting venom. The pectoral fins beat up and down so that the fish appears to "fly" through the water. This fish can grow to a maximum width of about 150 cm (60 in), with females being rather larger than males. The dorsal surface is olive-green, dark brown or yellowish, with grey or pale blue markings, and the ventral surface is white.[3][4]

    Distribution: This ray is native to the waters around both North and South Island in New Zealand, the Kermadec Islands, Norfolk Island and southern Australia, where it occurs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

    Ecology: A benthopelagic species, it feeds on such invertebrates as clams, oysters, crabs and worms that it finds on the seabed.

    Basketwork Eel, Diastobranchus capensis

    D-capensis-S003_070-web.jpg DiastobranchCapensis2.jpg

    Soft Leftvent Angler, Haplophryne mollis

    Distribution: Widespread in deep oceanic tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans. Known in Australian waters from off southern Queensland, and northeast of Lord Howe Island to off Cape Howe, Victoria, and eastern Tasmania, and off south-western Western Australia; also southwest of Norfolk Island in hte Tasman Sea, in depths of 200-2250 m.

    Features: Dorsal fin rays 3; Anal fin rays 3; Caudal fin rays 9; Pectoral fin rays 15-16. Size: Females to 15.9 cm, males to 1.6 cm


  3. #1653
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    Common Shore Eel, Alabes dorsalis

    Distribution: Endemic to southern Australia, from Broken Bay, New South Wales, to south-west of Ceduna, South Australia, and around the Tasmanian coast (possibly to southern Queensland).

    Features: Caudal fin 7-8; Pelvic fin 3; Vertebrae (total) 66-78.

    Colour: Large blackish circular blotches often present along the midside of large adults.

    Remarks: Seen more often than other shore eel species due to its relatively large size and intertidal habitat.

    Freshwater Whipray, Urogymnus dalyensis

    Distribution: Limited distribution between the Fitzroy River, Western Australia and Normanby River, Queensland.

    Features: Distinguishing characters: disc subcircular, snout tip to axis of maximum width 41–44%

    Size; Known to reach 124 cm DW (disc width) but commonly less than 100 cm DW.

    Colour: Disc uniformly pale brown or greyish dorsally, whitish below with broad, dark marginal bands and blotches. Pelvic fin tips dark ventrally; tail dark brown to blackish dorsally, whitish ventrally forward of sting base and black beyond sting.

    Blackfin Grouper, Cephalopholis nigripinnis

    Distribution: Recorded from the Australian territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the Indian Ocean, inhabiting areas of rich coral growth in depths to 60 m.

    Features: Dorsal fin IX, 14-16; Anal fin III, 8-9. Body depth 2.7-3.1 in SL.

    Feeding: Carnivore - feeds on small fishes and crustaceans.

    Snyderidia canina

    Distribution: Known from tropical waters off Cocos (Keeling) Island, within the Australian EEZ, at a depth of 320-410 m. Elsewhere, circumglobal in tropical waters, absent from the eastern Pacific.

    Size: Maximum total length 27 cm.

    Fisheries: Of no interest to fisheries.

  4. #1654
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    Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris

    Distribution: Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Botany Bay, New South Wales to Rottnest Island, Western Australia and around Tasmania.

    Features: Dorsal fin X-XI, 14-15; Anal fin III, 10-11; Caudal fin17; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 78-85.

    Size: To 70 cm

    Feeding: Carnivore

    Lyretail Dartgoby, Ptereleotris monoptera

    Max Size: 12 cm

    Highcrown Seahorse, Hippocampus

    Distribution: Endemic to tropical waters of north-eastern Australia, from Hervey Bay northwards to at least Port Curtis and possibly into the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. Inhabits inshore mixed algal reefs from about 3 to 20 m.

    Features: Meristic features: Dorsal fin 17-19 (rarely 17); Pectoral fin 16-18 (rarely 16, usually 18); trunk rings 11; tail rings 34-35; subdorsal rings 2 + 1.

    Size: Height to more than 110 mm.

    Feeding: Carnivore. Like most other seahorses, this species presumably feeds by sucking small prey items such as crustaceans and planktonic zooplankton into its mouth.

    Mimic Surgeonfish, Acanthurus pyroferus

    Distribution: Scott Reef (14°03'S), WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea (12°15'S), Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and northern Great Barrier Reef (12°00'S) to Moreton Bay (23°30'S), QLD, and juveniles to Montague Island, NSW; also Osprey Reef, Coringa-Herald Cays and Lihou Reef, Coral Sea; tropical, west-central Pacific.

    Feeding: A grazer/detritivore - feeds on detritus and sediment.

  5. #1655
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    Yellowback Tubelip, Labropsis xanthonota

    A Yellowback Tubelip, Labropsis xanthonota, on Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea,

    Rosy Dory, Cyttopsis rosea

    Depth: 195-620 m, Max Size: 31 cm

    Habitat: Benthopelagic, reef associated

    in about 500 metres off the Canary Islands.

    Pugnose Pipefish, Pugnaso curtirostris

    Distribution: Endemic to southern Australia, from Corner Inlet, Wilsons Promontory (Victoria), northern Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands, to Jurien Bay and the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (Western Australia). Uncommon in Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf, South Australia; inhabits shallow seagrass, eelgrass and algal habitats in sheltered bays and estuaries to about 11m. Juveniles often found amongst decaying seagrass leaves.

    Size: To 19 cm SL.

    Feeding: Carnivore - feeds on small crustaceans, including mysid shrimps, sucked off the substrate.

    Red Pipefish, Notiocampus ruber

    Distribution: Endemic to temperate waters of southern and southeastern Australia from Sydney .

    Features: Meristics: D 11–13; C 6–7; trunk rings 18–19; tail rings 42–48; subdorsal rings 0.00 + 1.25–1.50 = 1.25–1.50

    Size: 160 mm.

    Feeding: Unknown, but likely to feed on small epibenthic invertebrates such as crustaceans.

    Possum Wrasse, Wetmorella nigropinnata

    Distribution: Recorded in Australia from Rowley Shoals to Ashmore Reef, Western Australia, and Cape York to Heron Island, Queensland, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Red Sea and tropical Indo-west-Central-Pacific.

  6. #1656
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    Paddlefish Cardinalfish, Pseudamia zonata

    Distribution: Recorded in the Australian EEZ from Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea off Queensland in depths of 10-35m. Inhabits poorly lit areas in caves.

    Ballina Angelfish, Chaetodontoplus ballinae

    Distribution: Endemic to warm temperate waters of eastern Australia, and known from off limited localities including off Stradbroke Island, Queensland, off Coffs Harbour, Ballina and North Solitary Island, Seal Rocks, northern New South Wales, and the Lord Howe Island region in the Tasman Sea. The species usually inhabits deeper coastal and offshore reefs, pinnacles and seamounts, in depths of 10-123 m.

    Size: To 20 cm.

    Feeding: Unknown, but possibly omnivores - other species in the genus Chaetodontoplus feed on sessile invertebrates such as sponges, tunicates and algae.

    Flagtail Pipefish, Doryrhamphus negrosensis

    Distribution: Tropical Western Pacific, Borneo to Micronesia, Vanuatu, northern Australia; inhabits sheltered inner reef flats, muddy areas and lagoons, usually within rubble habitats or associated with sea urchins to 10 m.

    Size: Grows to about 5 cm.

    Feeding: Feeds on planktonic micro-crustaceans, and like other Doryramphus species may clean parasites off other fishes.

    Grey Carpetshark, Chiloscyllium punctatum

    Distribution: Known in tropical Australian waters from Shark Bay (Western Australia) to the Sandon River (New South Wales) in depths of 5 to at least 85 metres.

    Feeding: Carnivore - feeds on small bottom-dwelling fishes and invertebrates such as crabs, polychaete worms and shrimps.

    Slender Seamoth, Pegasus volitans

    Distribution: Known in Australian waters from about Waroona, Western Australia, around the tropical north to about Shellharbour, New South Wales. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific, from East Africa and the Arabian Gulf, to Australia and north to southern Japan.

    Features: Dorsal fin 5; Anal fin 5; Pectoral fin 10-12 (usually 11); Caudal fin 8; Carapace rings 3; Tail rings 12.

    Size: 18 cm.

    Feeding: Although Slender Seamoths do not possess tubular mouths, they have a specialised protrusible mouth which they can form into a tube. They crawl or ‘walk’ over the bottom on their paired pelvic fins in search of small crustaceans, worms and molluscs which are sucked from burrows.

  7. #1657
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    Verco's Pipefish, Vanacampus vercoi

    Distribution: Endemic to temperate inshore waters of South Australia, from Rosetta Head, Encounter Bay to central Spencer Gulf, including Kangaroo Island, and may occur near Whyalla in the northern part of Spencer Gulf; inhabits shallow subtidal macroalgal and seagrass beds (Posidonia and Zostera), tide pools, tidal channels and rubble habitats at 2-4 m.

    Features: Meristic counts: Dorsal fin 19–21; Pectoral fin 8–9; Anal fin 3–4; Caudal fin 10; trunk rings 16; tail rings 40–42; subdorsal rings 0.50–0.00 + 4.25–5.00 = 4.25–5.00.

    Size: To about 15 cm.

    Feeding: Feeds on small crustaceans found on the substrate and amongst algae and seagrass leaves; mysids are an important food source for juveniles.

    Exquisite Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus exquisitus

    Distribution: Inhabits mixed coral/rubble areas on seaward reef slopes, usuallyt depths of 2-10 m.

    Features: Caudal fin rounded in juveniles and females, double emarginated in males.

    Blackrag, Psenes pellucidus

    Distribution: Recorded in Australia from Newcastle, New South Wales, to east of Bicheno Tasmania, to off south Australia; also at Lord Howe Island and on the Cascade Plateau, Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical waters.

    Features: Dorsal fin. ix- xii + i, 27-32; Anal fin iii, 26-31; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 18-20; Pelvic fin i, 5; Lateral line approx. 120; Gill rakers 8-9+1+14-16; Vertebrae 41-42.

    Flatface Seahorse, Hippocampus planifrons

    Distribution: Endemic to tropical Western Australia, from Broome to Dirk Hartog Island. Inhabits algal and rubble reefs in shallow bays from the intertidal to depths of 20 m.

    Size: Height to 70 mm, but may grow to 120 mm.

    Feeding: Like most other seahorses, this species presumably feeds by sucking small crustaceans and other small prey items, including planktonic zooplankton, into its mouth.

  8. #1658
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    Dec 2014
    Bronze Whaler, Carcharhinus brachyurus

    Distribution: Known in Australian waters from Moreton Bay, Queensland, southwards and across to Geraldton, Western Australia.

    Features: Vertebrae: 179-203 (precaudal 96-110)
    Jaw teeth (upper): 15 or 16-2 or 3-15 or 16
    Jaw teeth (lower): 15-1-15

    Size: 295 cm
    1_Carcharhinus brachyurus_RK.jpg

    School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus

    Distribution: Recorded in Australia from Moreton Bay (Qld) to Perth (WA), including Tasmania and Lord Howe Island. Elsewhere in temperate waters of eastern North Atlantic, western South Atlantic, eastern North and South Pacific, off South Africa, New Zealand.

    Features: Meristic features: Vert. (precaudal) 79; (total) 127.

    Feeding: Feeds on bony fishes (bottom-dwelling and pelagic species), squid and octopus. Small juveniles feed on crustaceans, polychaete worms, gastropods and echinoderms.

    Nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveri

    Distribution: Larger coastal rivers in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Timor Sea drainages, with a patchy distribution in the following river: Pentecost (Western Australia), East Baines, Daly, Finnis, Adelaide, Wildman, West, South and East Alligator (Northern Territory), Leichhardt, Saxby and Norman (Queensland). The species is also widespread in southern New Guinea.

    Features: Dorsal fin VII, 11-15; Anal fin II, 40-48; Pectoral fin 16-21; Pelvic fin I, 5.

    Size: Reaches a length of more than 60 cm.

    Feeding: Carnivore - feeds on small fishes, shrimp, and crayfish.

    Ribboned Pipehorse, Haliichthys taeniophorus

    Distribution: Known from tropical Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea and Australia; inhabits a variety of inshore shallow water areas including weedy regions bordering open substrates, coral reefs, rocky, gravel, sandy and muddy substrates; also associated with sponges, algae, hydroids, shells and seagrass usually from 1-18 m.

    Features: Meristic features: Dorsal fin 24-27; Pectoral fin 19-22; Trunk rings 18-20; Tail rings 43-47.

    Size: To 300 mm, Feeding: Preys on small planktonic crustaceans.

    Humpnose Unicornfish, Naso tonganus

    Distribution: Shark Bay to North West Cape, Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island.

    Feeding: Herbivore - browses on turfing and filamentous red and green algae.

  9. #1659
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    Mother-of-pearl Pipefish, Vanacampus margaritifer

    Distribution: Endemic to sub-tropical and temperate Australia, from North Stradbroke Island,

    Size: To at least 16.5 cm, and possibly to 20 cm.

    Feeding: Species in the genus Vanacampus feed on small crustaceans, especially mysid shrimps and cladocerans, sucked in through the long tubular snout.

    Tiger Pipefish, Filicampus tigris

    Distribution: Relatively common in subtropical waters of Australia's east and west coasts. A relic population also occurs in the warmer waters of Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Inhabits shallow seagrass beds and sponge, mud, sand, rock, and rubble areas in depths of 2-30 m.

    Features: Dorsal fin 24-27; Pectoral fin 14-16: Anal fin 4; Caudal fin 8; Trunk rings 17-19; Tail rings 34-38.

    Size: Attains 350 mm

    Feeding: Feeds on aggregations of mysid shrimps in sheltered bays adjacent to tidal channels.

    Sawtooth Pipefish, Maroubra perserrata

    Distribution: Endemic to temperate southern Australian waters from southern Queensland to Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

    Features: Dorsal fin 23-27; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 16-20; Caudal fin 10; Trunk rings 15-17; Tail rings 26-29; Total subdorsal rings 4.75-6.0.

    Size: A small species, reaching 8.5cm SL

  10. #1660
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    Shorthead Seahorse, Hippocampus breviceps

    Distribution: Endemic to temperate southern Australian waters from the South Australian gulfs to the Bass Strait region of Victoria and Tasmania, and south to Port Arthur, Tasmania; absent from eastern Victoria and Western Australia.

    Features: Meristic features: Dorsal fin rays 19-22; Anal fin rays 4; Pectoral fin rays 14-15; trunk rings 11; tail rings 38-42; subdorsal rings 3-5.

    Size: Height to 100 mm.

    Feeding: The Shorthead Seahorse feeds close to the sand or rubble during the day, preying mostly on small crustaceans such as mysid shrimps.

    Abe's Angelfish, Centropyge abei

    Distribution: Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea off Queensland, depth 120 m. Elsewhere, the species is known to occur in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, Palau and southern Japan. Usually inhabits rubble areas on deep reefs.

    Features: Dorsal fin XIII, 17; Anal fin III, 18; Pectoral fin 16; Gill rakers (first arch) 5 + 12; Longitudinal scale series 43-45; Vertebrae 24.

    Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus

    Distribution: Southeast of Shark Bay, Western Australia, to east of Sawtell, New South Wales; also in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.

    Features: Dorsal fin 10-12; Anal fin 9-10.

    Thorny Seahorse, Hippocampus

    Distribution: Recorded in Australia from south of Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and in Port Stephens, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical and subtropical Western Pacific, from Bali, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Japan.

    Features: Meristic features: Dorsal fin 17-19; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 17-18; trunk rings 11; tail rings 33-34; subdorsal rings 2 + 1.

    Size: Height to 150 mm.


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