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Observer

morgangrant

Date

December 9, 2018

Description

Caught at Harry Atkinson Artifical Reef in Moreton Bay by Scott Wilson.

It is unusual, being to my knowledge the equal (and most recent) southerly record of the Sand Bass. Jeff Johnson of the Qld Museum informed me that this species of Sand Bass is Psammoperca datnioides, a marine & estuarine species rarely known to stray as far south as Moreton Bay.

Until recently the genus included only a single species, but it has now been split into two, with P. waigiensis known to the north of Australia. Both were formerly known as Psammoperca waigiensis.

The Sand Bass is also known by many other names - including Sand Perch, Dwarf Palmer Perch, Glass-eyed Perch, Reef Barramundi, Waigeo Barramundi, Jewel Eye and Pink-eyed Bass (both these names are demonstrated in the pic).

They are often confused with Barramundi (where both fish live), because they have the same shaped head and tail fin - in fact, they are closely related - they are both in Family Latidae. They are easily distinguished because the Sand Bass has a lateral line that runs onto the tail, and large glassy eyes. They are usually silvery-grey to dark brown, and they have a dark bar running from the mouth onto the gill-cover.

Sand Bass/Perch grow to at least 470mm and 1.5kg, and are found from southern WA across the top of Australia to Moreton Bay.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Venus Tuskfish Choerodon venustus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

September 23, 2017

Description

Venus Tuskfish caught by Graham Cuff off Cairns. Believed to be a range extension - previously recorded as far north as Innsfail. The colour of this specimen is more a consistent pinkish colour, with the typical blue-purple lines on the fins and the purple-blue spots on the scales.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Venus Tuskfish Choerodon venustus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

September 23, 2017

Description

Venus Tuskfish caught by Graham Cuff off Cairns. Believed to be a range extension - previously recorded as far north as Innsfail. The colour of this specimen is more a consistent pinkish colour, with the typical blue-purple lines on the fins and the

Photos / Sounds

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What

Blacktip Bullseye Pempheris affinis

Observer

morgangrant

Date

September 21, 2017 09:55 PM AEST

Description

Caught by Reggie Madden in Sydney Harbour on 21/9/17. likely to be specifically the Black-tip Bullseye (Pempheris affinis). They are found along the east coast from about Hervey Bay in Qld to southern NSW. This is a small species, growing only to about 150mm, and is found in rocky reefs and caves up to about 30m deep. The black tips to the fins are a key feature, together with the black rim to the anal fin and the chrome yellow on the lower fins. Compressed body, with sharply-pointed dorsal fin, long anal fin, a large eye and an almost-vertical mouth.

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What

Common Stinkfish Foetorepus calauropomus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

November 18, 2016

Description

This is likely to be the Common Stinkfish (Foetorepus calauropomus), one of the several Dragonets found in Australia. They are also known as a Crookspined Dragonet or Hooky. The name 'stinkfish' comes from the acidic smell of the slime on the body. Their body is long and slender, tapering towards tail. The eyes are close together on top of head, and the distinctive mouth is small - it opens forward and downward. the two dorsal fins are separate (the first still folded down in the pic), the pelvic fins are large and start well before pectoral-fin base. They are well-camouflaged, with the colours ranging from brown to orange or reddish. They have darker brown blotches above, whitish underneath, and blue spots on cheeks. This is likely to be a male, as they have many small black blotches on head, body and fins, and the females lack this. Also, the caudal fin is elongated - males have 4 to 6 filaments as in the photo - females have a convex tail without filaments. They grow to 350mm and are found from Moreton Bay to Perth around the bottom of the country, including Tasmania. They are found on sandy and muddy bottoms and seagrass beds in bays, estuaries and coastal waters, in 15-183m.
Caught Ashley Hallam

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What

Blacktail Snapper Lutjanus fulvus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

July 29, 2016

Place

cairns (Google, OSM)

Description

I think this is an excellent young specimen of the Black-tail Snapper/Sea-perch (Lutjanus fulvus), probably less confusingly-known as the Yellow-margined Sea Perch. They have dark red to black dorsal and caudal fins with a white margin (barely visible here), yellow anal, pectoral and pelvic fins, and the juveniles like this have yellow lines along the body. Body colour varies markedly from whitish to brownish, even orange or yellow. They grow to 400mm, and in Australia, they range from the NT to southern Queensland.

Unfortunately, they have a very similar common name to the different fish, the Dark-tail Snapper (L. lemniscatus)! It also highlights the confusion with common names and even names for fish (Snapper vs Sea-perch, etc). One key difference is that the Dark-tail Snapper has a concave head profile, where the Black-tail shown here has a straight head profile. There are a number of other features to separate them, including the lower fin colours, and orange Maori markings on the head of lemniscatus.

Caught by Shane Rodgers

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What

Eastern Kelpfish Chironemus marmoratus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

November 12, 2016

Description

This looks like an Eastern Kelpfish (Chironemus marmoratus). It is similar to, but quite different from, the Rock Cale (Aplodactylus lophodon) - which is one of the Marblefishes.

They grow to about 400mm, and are found from southern Qld south to northern Tasmania and eastern Victoria. The body is typically grey, brown, green or pinkish with large dark blotches. The white spots on the body and fins are typical, and the lower rays of the pectoral fins are thickened into "fingers" to help the fish hold onto the rocks in the surf zone.

They feed on small fish and invertebrates like crabs.

Caught by Brandon Clayton

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What

Crested Oystergoby Cryptocentroides gobioides

Observer

morgangrant

Date

November 1, 2016

Place

evans head (Google, OSM)

Description

I found (with the help of Jeff Johnson of the Qld Museum), that is a Crested Oyster-goby (Cryptocentroides gobioides). They (like the similar Oyster Blenny - Omobranchus anolius) are found in oyster and mussel beds along the Queensland and to the central NSW coasts, and they grow to 120mm. The body of the Oyster-goby is generally olive-green, and have distinct irregular vertical bands of red-brown, and electric blue which alternate, and become longer in the lower body. The head has electric blue and dark spots, and the dorsal fin has black streaks. The dorsal and upper caudal fins have red-brown spots, and the fins have margins of red-brown. They live in the intertidal zone, and this one was found under rocks at low tide. Caught Lukus Martin at Evans Head looking under rocks covered in oysters at low tide - NSW

Photos / Sounds

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What

Barcoo Grunter Scortum barcoo

Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 26, 2016

Description

Codey Marchesi caught this fish in a lake in metropolitan Adelaide.

I think it is most likely to be the Barcoo Grunter (Scortum barcoo), also known as a Black Bream (like so many other fish!) - and being caught in a lake in Adelaide metro is very odd. As others have suggested, this could be an aquarium release, and is most unlikely to be a native location for them. Their normal habitat is muddy rivers and waterholes.

The pale stripe under the eye, small scales and presence of dark blotches are all features that lean to that identity. The black botches can be turned on and off at will.

Their alternative name "Jade Perch" is not a "common" name, because it is a commercial name to help market aquaculture product. Barcoo Grunter grow to 380mm and 1.5kg, and have been recorded in localities in SA, NSW, Queensland and the NT.

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What

Threadfin Pearl Perch Glaucosoma magnificum

Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 7, 2016

Description

Declan Williams sent me this photo to help him identify this fish he caught in Arnhemland.

It looked familiar but not so at the same time, because it is a close relative of the more common Pearl Perch of Qld and NSW (Glaucosoma scapulare).

It is most likely to be the Threadfin Pearl Perch (Glaucosoma magnificum). They are identified by the obvious filaments on the caudal, anal and dorsal fins, and they have three dark bands on the head and shoulders, the broadest running though the eye.

They grow to 320mm, and are found from Exmouth in WA through the NT to the north-eastern tip of Qld. Like all Pearl Perch, if handled well, they are excellent table-fish.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Freckled Goatfish Upeneus tragula

Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 15, 2016

Description

Bar-tailed Goatfish (Upeneus tragula). They grow to 250mm, and are found from Perth across the tropics to as far south as near the NSW/Victorian border.

It is a whitish and tan Goatfish with yellow chin barbels, a dark yellowish to brown stripe from the nose to the upper part of the caudal-fin base (with brown blotches on the stripe). Normally has a large dark spot on the tips of both dorsal fins (not visible in this photo), and dark bars on the caudal and pelvic fins. They may have brown to reddish blotches and spots.

Fish was caught by James Cornish in Pumicestone Passage at Bribie Island

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Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 14, 2016 05:19 AM AEST

Description

John Herrod found this very unusual-looking fish in the gut contents of a Dorado or Mahi-mahi he caught off Townsville. I checked my tentative ID with Jeff Johnson of the Qld Museum, as this is a fish I haven't seen before. He agrees that it is likely to be Matsubara's Blenny or the Japanese Snake Blenny (Xiphasia matsubarai). It is hard to be certain because they are half-digested and pigment is missing. Jeff says he has confirmed X. setifer (in much better condition) from Mahi-mahi gut contents several times in the past, so it seems they are a favoured food item. Apart from being a bottom dweller this Blenny is also known to hang around floating objects in open water. They live in burrows in the bottom, and at night, they rise to the surface where they fall prey to pelagic fish like Mahi-mahi. They have been recorded to grow to 300mm

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What

Shadow Trevally Carangoides dinema

Observer

morgangrant

Date

October 13, 2016

Place

Townsville (Google, OSM)

Description

Unusual Trevally - identity confirmed by Jeff Johnson. He confirmed species in Australia from specimen caught near Southport.

Elongate Carangoides species, silver-grey body, white below, row of dark patches immediately below soft dorsal, filament extending from dorsal fin, black spot on anal fin, black patch on face below eye and extending to nose.

Caught by Vinnie Versfeld.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Oval Rockcod Triso dermopterus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

September 17, 2016

Description

Oval Rock-cods or Grouper (Triso dermopterus), also known as Black-fin Grouper. Caught in 90m of water between Double Island Point and Fraser Island. Deep-bodied with brown body, muscular sides and black fins, especially pectorals

Photos / Sounds

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What

Chinamanfish Symphorus nematophorus

Observer

morgangrant

Date

September 23, 2016

Description

Older juvenile Chinaman Fish caught by Ben Keen in southern Moreton Bay at a place called The Bluff near Peel Island in southern Moreton Bay.

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