This week in Fish: Find a fish launched

By: Mark McGrouther, Category: Science, Date: 01 Apr 2011

I don't mind saying that I'm pretty excited to be able to announce that the new Find a Fish page is online. Working on this page (and those that sit beneath it) has consumed more of my evenings than I would like to admit.  In addition, as always, some great images were added. Thanks troops!

Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus

Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus
Photographer: Gaetan Guilhon © Gaetan Guilhon

Find a fish:

A new master index of fishes has been added to the site. Find a fish will make it much easier to view at a glance all the assets for a particular family. Currently, the site contains information on 1054 species but that number is increasing rapidly.  The family with the most content is the labridae (wrasses), with 82 species represented (out of a total Australian fauna of 230 species).

New fish images:

Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus
Flathead Sandfish
Flathead Sandfish buried
Flathead Sandfish, Lesueurina platycephala
Largemouth Goby in the Minnamurra River
Largemouth Goby, Redigobius macrostoma
Spiny Pipehorse from Palm Beach
Threeband Butterflyfish at Lord Howe Island
Threeband Butterflyfish, Chaetodon tricinctus
Vanuatu Snapper, Paracaesio gonzalesi
Whitley's Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta whitleyi

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Find a fish,


Mark McGrouther - 8.04 AM, 11 April 2011

Thanks so much for your very informative reply Dave.  I really appreciated the input of scientists who are working in this field of research.  I will email tassygirl directly to ensure that she sees your comment.

DBooth - 11.04 AM, 10 April 2011
There is definitely increasing evidence of climate-change induced range shifts for Aussie fishes, especially in SE Australia where we have the dual effects of increasing sea temperature and East Australian (EAC) current flow. We have been studying the influx of coral reef fish larvae into the Sydney and southwards. (summary can be heard at Basically, the numbers vary greatly year to year, partly depending on EAC patterns. However, we also showed a strong link between winter water temperature and overwinter survival of these fishes (tropical butterflyfishes and damselfishes)- we saw survival over about 18C, which occurred in 2001 and 2006, 2 of the warmest winters in 150 years! A lot more needs to be researched and the jury is still out on whether we might seem major biogeographic shifts in fish species. I’d also suggest talking a look at the recent Marine Climate change Report Card for Australia at Our “temperate fishes” paper in that, plus those on tropical and pelagic fishes are relevant.
Mark McGrouther - 2.04 PM, 04 April 2011

Hi tassygirl.  Thank you for your comment.  Climage change is an issue that I believe we should all be taking very seriously.  I'm not 100% sure which species you are refering to as a 'gummy dogshark'.  There is a Gummy Shark, Mustelus antarcticus and also quite a number of dogsharks that are in a different family, the Squalidae.  Having said that, however, I don't think it detracts one bit from your concern about changing distribution patterns as a result of ocean warming (don't get me taking about ocean 'acidification'!).  The Whitley Award winning add link redmap website is trying to document changes in species distributions in Tasmania.  Dr Peter Last from CSIRO Hobart, who was one of the interviewees in the ABC story is a close colleague of us fish-folk here at the Australian Museum.  One of the comments he made in the interview is particularly scary, "If things keep changing in this way we're not sure what would happen to those elements or those fishes that occur right at the southern tip of Tasmania. These have got nowhere else to go."

tassygirl - 7.04 PM, 03 April 2011
Just heard on ABC TV news that with increasing temperatures in our seas, some northern species are crossing Bass Strait - in early March I travelled with family to the North Coast of Tasmania where I saw on incoming tides in a rocky shore area the largest fish I have seen onshore literally 1 metre from the beach - and also a school of about 40 toadfish in the same area - the larger fish moved like a shark and I believe it was a gummy dogshark with dark and sandy mottled markings - I would think just over a metre long. Is this perhaps a species not seen here before?

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