Thursday, April 26, 2007

Old Wives at Port Noarlunga

Old Wives (Enoplosus armatus)

A very common fish in South Australia. They can be found in small schools or individually.

Yesterday there were a number of pairs sitting quietly along the bottom edge of the Port Noarlunga reef. This pair were sheltering under an old ship's anchor located on the SCUBA diver's trail at about 4-5m depth at low tide.
I was only snorkeling but I was able to dive down a number of times to get several shots. The fish didn't swim away so I assume they were preoccupied and the pairing has something to do with mating, but there wasn't anything obvious I could see they were doing. These individuals are about 300mm long.
There were several other pairs just out in the open above the sandy floor.

Some Australian creatures are not as innocuous as they might seem. The Old Wife has poisonous dorsal spines which have given a few fishermen painful jabs, but they are perfectly safe to swim with (as far as I know).
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