Posts By: David Muirhead

Dec 31

December 31, 2017

Bridled leatherjackets and Toothbrush leatherjackets

This photo was taken at Rapid Bay between the old and new jetties: The fish in the background, behind the adult Castelnau’s (aka Pretty polly) wrasse, is an older, juvenile Bridled leatherjacket. The leatherjacket is over a seagrass meadow, predominantly Amphibolis (aka ‘wireweed’).   The Bridled leatherjacket is one of our state’s smallest ‘leatheries’, and smallest of the several seagrass-dependent ‘niche... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes | By

Nov 24

November 24, 2017

Syngnathid Hotspot

This photo of the Normanville SLSC was taken from the “Syngnathid Hotspot” site: – Normanville SLSC (Taken by David Muirhead) ‘Syngnathid Hotspot’ (colloquial term only) is that area of shallow sand and seagrass directly off of the Normanville SLSC (roughly a hectare in total area and max depth is 5m but most of the pipefish are at 2-3 m depth)... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes, Citizen Science, Syngnathids | By

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,... Read more

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... Read more

Posted in Whales & Dolphins | By

Sep 19

September 19, 2017

More About the Normanville Communication Cable

Further to my article “The 1875 Communication Cable from Normanville to Kangaroo Island”, whether the cable was installed in during the 1860s or the 1870s, has been a niggling doubt for the author. The few historical records I’d come across seemed to vary a bit as to key dates with regards to the draft project’s definitive government funding approval date, works commencement and completion dates,... Read more

Posted in intertidal zone, Jetties, Maritime History | By

Sep 17

September 17, 2017

Pipefish encounters: One genus, two species, endless entertainment

Encounters of the kind below are not what most of us expect when at the beach for a swim and a bit of relaxation on a nice summer day. Which adds a special touch, for me at least. You can wade bare-footed at knee to waist depth off almost any white sandy beach in Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf and see... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes, Coastal species, Syngnathids | By

Aug 19

August 19, 2017

The Unique South

Seems like only yesterday that lovers of temperate southern Australian rocky reefs first heard and, in some cases, eagerly promulgated the term “The Unique South “. The term had instant appeal as a catchy descriptor with seemingly obvious educational value. I loved the term from the first encounter. I guess the term “Unique South ” struck so powerful an emotional... Read more

Posted in Creative writing | By

Oct 19

October 19, 2014

Harlequin Fish

Harlequin Fish in peril in SA, still targeted

To the editor of The Sunday Mail, I note with dismay the anachronistic discrepancy of two items printed on page 69 in the Sunday Mail today (October 19, 2014). The first item, ‘Fishing Hot Spots with Jon Huie’ shows a trophy shot of a rare Harlequin Fish caught off Cape Jervis by an angler. The other item, ‘What’s On’ describes a planned beach cleanup and... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes, Marine Protected Areas, Pollution | By

Aug 11

August 11, 2014

smooth toadfish buried in sand david muirhead

Opalescent Eye of Toadie – Reflecting on refracted light

Here’s why I rave about our toadies’ amazing eyes when seen via facemask in shallow, sandy, near-shore areas. I see them mainly late, in summer and autumn, when they are at their most prolific. They are found in very shallow areas almost anywhere in SA, except for the far west coast. The image below which features their green and blue ‘opal’ eyes is from... Read more

Posted in Bony fishes | By

Jul 26

July 26, 2014

The Southern Rock Lobsters at Margaret Brock Reef

The sanctuary zone at Margaret Brock Reef is the only place I’ve dived in SA where I’ve seen large numbers of huge rock lobsters (along with prolific juveniles and all between). Until then, I’d wrongly believed the (with hindsight, small to medium) lobsters (up to approx. 3-4 Kg with regard to the few we ate each Xmas!) that I and... Read more

Posted in Crustaceans, Marine Protected Areas | By