According to an article on the Australian Museum blog, The fish list: A decade in the making by Dr Joseph DiBattista,  Curator, Ichthyology, Australian Museum, “the number of fish species recorded from Sydney Harbour now stands at 675 (Based on independent data sources)”.

(The Staff Profile for Dr Joseph DiBattista can be found at

I unsuccessfully attempted to email Dr DiBattista to say, “Thanks, your recent work builds on the early work done by Rudie Kuiter C.1975. The Marine Life Society of SA has records from their predecessor, the Marine Aquarium Research Institute of Australia (SA Branch). Rudie listed 100s of fish from some 63 families that occurred in the Sydney area from Kiama to Forster. He added some drawings of 5 sharp-nosed puffers, and illustrations of juveniles of 9 angelfishes and 18 butterfly fishes. Please let me know if any of this is of any interest to you.”

The information from Rudie Kuiter comes from the old MARIA Scientific Folder. The illustrations of 9 angelfishes and 18 butterfly fishes came with some additional comments or details.

Many of the scientific names have changed slightly since 1975.


Page 1 of 2 illustrations of Chaetodontidae, Butterfly fishes (juveniles)

by Rudie H. Kuiter (1975) from Marine Fishes of the Sydney Area

(Truncate Coralfish, Chelmonops truncatus in centre)

Certainly, most of the species illustrated are either sub-tropical or tropical. The only species that resembles anything that occurs in South Australian waters is the Truncate Coralfish, Chelmonops truncatus. Our local coralfish species is said to be Western Talma (or the square-back butterfly fish), Chelmonops curiosus (see below).

Chelmonops curiosus

Photographer: Chris Hall

Location: Seacliff Reef

Used in the 2004 calendar

MLSSA catalogue number 1355

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve was a keen diver, underwater explorer & photographer before illness struck. He is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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