Apr 27

April 27, 2017

Shrimps, Seadragons and Siphonognathus argyrophanes

Shrimps, Seadragons and Siphonognathus argyrophanes (As told to Steve by David Muirhead) The fish Tubemouth, Siphonognathus argyrophanes, looks very pipefish-like, and many veteran divers incorrectly think that they are true pipefish. They are, however, in the same family as wrasses (Labridae), which includes the ‘rock cod’ or ‘parrotfish’, plus weed whiting and western blue groper (which strictly should be called a western blue groper wrasse because it’s completely unrelated to tropical groupers like the giant Queensland Grouper). Tubemouth, Siphonognathus argyrophanes…

Posted in Bony fishes, Citizen Science, Crustaceans, Syngnathids | By

Apr 14

April 14, 2017

Goby Gets Nice Eye Rings

David Muirhead took this photo of a goby at Rapid Bay jetty in April 2016: – Goby at Rapid Bay jetty He has speculated in the past about why they (Grooved-cheek gobies?) get “nice eye rings”. He says that they can have gold irises or eyebrows. David thinks that they are probably Grooved-cheek gobies, Nesogobius species. They have also been called Opalescent goby. One of David’s photos of a Grooved-cheek or Opalescent goby featured as the background image for December…

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Apr 13

April 13, 2017

Update on the wreck of the AV Ulonga

This photo of the AV Ulonga at the North Parade Wharf in Port Adelaide was posted on the Facebook page for The South Australian Ketch Fleet recently: – The Ulonga at Port Adelaide circa early 1960s (Source: https://www.facebook.com/234583500036716/photos/a.237879926373740.1073741831.234583500036716/775086302653097/?type=3&theater ) It came with these details: – “Three mast auxiliary schooner “Ulonga”, at North Parade Wharf, Port Adelaide, sometime in the very early 1960’s. The bow of the ship near her bow belongs to the schooner “Coringle”, also engaged in the same…

Posted in Maritime History, Shipwrecks | By

Apr 10

April 10, 2017

Spotting Pipefish

David Muirhead and I had Facebook conversation about finding pipefish with one-time Society member Ron Bellchambers recently, after David had posted this photo of a Crested pipefish on his Facebook page: –   Crested pipefish (a.k.a Briggs Crested pipefish) (Taken by David Muirhead) (This Crested pipefish is typically cryptic below detrital seagrass leaf on silty sand @ 4 m depth Second Valley 5-4-17. The crest of its dorsal fin is just visible where its trunk meets the seagrass blade) I subsequently…

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Apr 9

April 9, 2017


As divers, we see all different kinds of marine algae underwater, but identifying the species can be tricky for most of us. There are greens, browns, reds and even blue-greens. Then there are Dinoflagellates (Division Dinophyta) and different seagrasses (Angiosperms). Algae at Rapid Bay jetty March 2017 (Taken by Steve Reynolds) Green algae belong to the Division Chlorophyta. Brown algae belong to the Class Phaeophyceae of the Division Heterokontophyta (Phaeophyta). Red algae belong to the Division Rhodophyta. Blue-green algae belong…

Posted in Algae, Plants | By

Apr 9

April 9, 2017

Photo of a Smooth Toadfish Blind in One Eye

In 2014, David Muirhead wrote an article titled “Opalescent Eye of Toadie – Reflecting on refracted light” – see http://mlssa.org.au/2014/08/11/opalescent-eye-of-toadie-reflecting-on-refracted-light . A Smooth Toadfish with two good eyes (Taken by David Muirhead) The article features a slide show of four toadfish images, along with comments such as “I’ve many dozens of similar shots of this adult individual and numerous other smooth toadies. Some are juveniles or sub-adults, while most show equal, or maybe even better, opalescent appearance of the nearer pupil. The colour is…

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Apr 9

April 9, 2017

The Purple Shore Crab, Leptograpsus variegatus

David Muirhead recently posted this crab photo on his Facebook page: – (Taken at Point Dutton (northwest of Coffin Bay) in March 2012) He wrote, “These large and gaudy crabs are favourites of mine. They only inhabit the intertidal zone (mainly northwest of about Coffin Bay in SA) and are beautiful to behold as they watch inquisitively from the safety of large jagged granite boulders and crevices with their carapace washed over by the gentle wind ripples and slight swells…

Posted in Crustaceans | By

Apr 4

April 4, 2017


As reported in our March 2017 Mail-out, we are assisting the Port River Shellfish Restoration Project Group in its efforts to rebuild some natural reefs in the Port River system. Catherine McMahon, Executive Officer for the Estuary Care Foundation says, “We see restoration of the Port River and Barker Inlet as a long-term project and we want to: investigate and understand which shellfish species are thriving in the Port River system. Species of special interest include our Native Oyster Ostrea…

Posted in Citizen Science, Climate change, Conservation | By

Mar 25

March 25, 2017


In addition to my recent discovery of an Oyster Blenny at the Ship’s Graveyard in the North Arm of the Port River, I also found this bivalve mollusc shell there: – I checked it out further when I got home. I thought that it was a Venus shell, Tapes literatus. I photographed it with my mobile phone at home and sent the photo to Peter Hunt from the Malacological Society of SA for a positive ID. Peter’s response was as…

Posted in Bony fishes, Invasive species, Marine invertebrates, Molluscs | By

Mar 23

March 23, 2017

The Oyster Blenny, Omobranchus anolius

When I recently snorkelled at the Ship’s Graveyard in the North Arm of the Port River, I saw lots of blennies disappearing into holes on the river bed. They were much too quick for me to be able to identify them at all. Some of them seemed to have long-flowing eel-like tails. I struck it lucky when I returned back to shore and a blenny posed on a rock for me. I was quite surprised by the colour, shape and…

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