Nov 16

November 16, 2017

Great, scalloped or smooth? How to identify a hammerhead shark

As a South Australian snorkeler, typically drawn to shallow, inshore waters, I haven’t had first-hand contact with hammerhead sharks. As a child I found them fascinating; their distinctive T-shaped heads an apparent freak of evolution. In 2014 my interest in hammerhead sharks was renewed. That year, Western Australia introduced a shark culling policy in response to a number of human fatalities following shark bite events over several years. The policy was met with support by some, but also mass resistance….

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Nov 13

November 13, 2017

Juvenile Rock Flathead at the Glenelg Tyre Reef

Alex Suslin always has an eye for unusual marine life sightings. This time, he found this unusual flathead on the Glenelg Tyre Reef on Thursday 9th November: –   He was able to take a couple of photos of the flathead: –   Alex sent the two photos in to our Society for identification: – “Hi Steve, any chance you know this critter, encountered on the Glenelg Tyre Reef last Thursday?  Closest pic I could find is Mud flathead but…

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Nov 13

November 13, 2017

The Colour of Fish

In 1979, I wrote a couple of articles concerning the colours of fish. It all started after I had read an article by respected fishing writer Dick Lewers in the September 1971 issue of “Modern Fishing” magazine. Lewers’ article titled “Colour it Blue” in “Modern Fishing” had caught my eye and it started my interest in writing about marine life for our monthly newsletter. My article titled “The Colour of Fish” in our June 1979 newsletter was my first serious…

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Nov 4

November 4, 2017

The Beachport boat ramp issue

We recently received an email request from a student for our assistance with their school project. The student agreed to take on the degradation of the beach at Beachport as their topic. The degradation was thought to have been caused by a boat ramp being placed on the beach in the wrong position. I sent the following details to the student: – “I first became involved in the topic of the Beachport boat ramp late in 2003. I was told…

Posted in Coastal activities, Pollution | By

Nov 3

November 3, 2017

More About Cowfish in West Lakes and the Port River

It didn’t take long to get a response after publishing my article titled “The Occurrence of Cowfish in West Lakes & the Port River” online. The posting of the article on our website was immediately duplicated on our Facebook page. Almost immediately, Mike Bossley commented on Facebook: – “I have had reports of cowfish in West Lakes also, including a photo of a dead Shaw’s from the area near the boat sheds. I have also seen Shaw’s out by Outer…

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Nov 3

November 3, 2017

The Spines of Cowfish

In our July 1987 newsletter (No.120), I wrote about the spines of cowfish. I reported having found several small cowfish, both Ornate and Shaw’s. Some were so small that they didn’t have any spines at all. A 2cm-diameter and a 2.5cm Ornate Cowfish did not have any spines at all. Another one, which was just over 3cm-diameter, had just started to grow some spines. They were still tiny and difficult to see though. The two spines above its eyes were…

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Oct 31

October 31, 2017

The Occurrence of Cowfish in West Lakes & the Port River

David Muirhead and I were approached by a mother and child prior to our dive at the Trimmer Parade end of West Lakes. The lady asked us if we were aware of a “mid-size, bluish fish that would swim at the surface of the lake, taking in breaths of air every now and again before submerging once more”. She made several attempts at describing this strange creature to us. She was adamant that it was a fish and that it…

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Oct 16

October 16, 2017

Krefft’s Frillgoby, Bathygobius krefftii

I’ve long yearned to have a fish species, or any species at all, named after me. That doesn’t look like happening in a hurry, but I now feel content that I have at least had some influence, no matter how small, on the name of a fish species. The story behind this ‘naming’ commenced when I photographed this little fish that was found in one of Catherine McMahon’s oyster monitoring baskets at Outer Harbor recently: –        The Krefft’s Frillgoby, Bathygobius…

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Oct 10

October 10, 2017

The small congolli that I found ‘belly up’ at Myponga Beach

I recently collected a small congolli that I found effectively ‘belly up’. The small congolli effectively ‘belly up’ (Taken by David Muirhead) Actually, it was lying on its side, on the shallow bottom towards one sandy rubbly bank of the moderately briskly outflowing but very narrow rivulet. The small congolli lying on its side, on the shallow bottom  (Taken by David Muirhead) The rivulet, barely 2 metres wide at that point, was running across the beach towards the sea, since the tide was out…

Posted in Bony fishes, Citizen Science, Coastal species, Freshwater systems, intertidal zone | By

Oct 6

October 6, 2017

My Cetacean Sighting at Carrickalinga

In the afternoon of 3rd October, I saw a pair of (what I STRONGLY suspect were) some sort of pygmy or dwarf cetacean, species indeterminate. I saw them from the lookout at Carrickalinga’s Roma Mitchell Reserve. They were quite close to shore and moving rapidly north towards Myponga Beach.  Both were less than two metres long and absolutely were not bottlenose dolphins, or pinnipeds, or so on.  I’m surer about this than I otherwise would have been, because about four years…

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