Fish and Mammals

Check out what you might encounter on a dive in the Otago Region! 


Galleries

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    Fish and Mammals

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    Invertebrates

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    List


 Invertebrates

Common triplefin  

Common Triplefin

Forsterygion lapillum

FISH and Mammals

The common triplefin's body varies in colour from white to grey/black, it has a black stripe from eyes to tail which is hard to identify in black fish. After a planktonic stage they settle onto branched brown seaweed, this can be seen on the seaweeds on the Wellers rock wall where they are plentiful. Later they move onto open cobble bottoms and are sometimes seen cleaning parasites from larger fish.

Grows up to 8cm in length.

Banded Wrasse  

Banded Wrasse

Notolabrus fucicola

FISH and Mammals

Banded wrasse are usually found around areas with lots of kelp, and are most abundant in water shallower than 10m, they are extremely common on most dive sites with these features. They are usually very active, but can be found resting in crevices especially at night. They have very powerful canine teeth that allow them to pry off limpets and barnacles and also eat mollusks, crabs and sea urchins. Unlike other wrasse banded wrasse don’t change sex. They vary in colour between juvenile and adult form as well as sex, ranging from yellow, red to deep blue with light and dark bands sometimes visible.

The banded wrasse is the largest species of wrasse in New Zealand and can grow up to 60cm, weigh 5kg and possibly reach an age of 35 years.

Blue Moki  

Blue Moki

Latridopsis ciliaris

FISH and Mammals

Blue-grey above, silver below, the blue moki has large and fleshy lips. They form large schools, and are mainly found over sandy or muddy bottoms. Juveniles less than 30cm live mainly on reefs. Eat crabs, shellfish, worms and other crustaceans which they suck from sandy/muddy bottoms. Aramoana provides shelter for smaller fish and schools of blue moki, larger fish can be found on offshore reefs such as around Moeraki and Karitane.

May grow up to 90cm and weigh over 10kg, the oldest recorded fish is 43 years old.

Spotted Wrasse  

Spotted Wrasse

Notolabrus celidotus

Spotty

FISH and Mammals

The spotty is the most common reef fish found in New Zealand, they are found everywhere from estuaries to reefs, usually shallower than 10m. They are extremely active by day and rest in crevices, kelp or on flat open bottoms by night. During which they secrete a mucous coating over themselves for protection. All fish start as females and change to males at around 3 to 4 years old, as they grow the spot moves higher on the back and eventually breaks up along the very top.

Can grow up to 30cm, and live for 7 years. Maturity is reached in their 1st or 2nd year of life at around 10-15cm.

Blue-eyed triplefin  

Blue-eyed Triplefin

Notoclinops segmentatus

FISH and Mammals

Named after its bright blue eyes, the blue eyed triplefin is silver with 9 red bands down the body. It is a small triplefin that is seen sitting or making quick jerky movements about reefs only to sit again. It can be seen cleaning small parasites from other larger fish. Aramoana has a large number of blue-eyed triplefins however they are very small so you need to pay close attention.

May reach up to 6cm in length.

Broadnose sevengill shark  

Broadnose Sevengill Shark

Notorynchus cepedianus

FISH and Mammals

The broadnose sevengill shark is grey or brown with small black and white spots, with a white underside. They are rather curious sometimes bumping objects including divers with their snout. They prey on octopus, fish, seals and dolphins, and hunt by stealth in dark and dirty water. They are more frequently seen in the summer months around the Otago harbour but only a half dozen are usually spotted with useach year.

Sharks of up to 3m have been recorded.

Maori chief  

Maori Chief

Notothenia angustata

FISH and Mammals

Getting it's name by the black tattooing appearance over its yellowish green face, the maori cheif has white patches along the body. Large maori chief have large ridges above and behind the eyes. They are found lying amongst rocks and seaweeds near caves and crevices on reefs. They usually will not move when approached and some even swim curiously up to divers. They are occasionly seen on the off shore reefs of Moeraki.

May grow up to 60cm in length.

Blue warehou  

Blue warehou

Seriolella brama

Common Warehou

FISH and Mammals

Blue grey to silver the warehou has a large black notch above its pectoral fin. Warehou are not commonly seen but juveniles are seen at some differing times of the year schooling at the Otago harbour entrance.

Fish seen are usually no bigger than 30cm.

Beaked Salmon  

Beaked Salmon

Gonorynchus greyi

Sandfish

FISH and Mammals

Beaked salmon have a long eel like body with a pointed snout, they are brown in colour and have a black top on their dorsal fin and two black stripes along the tail. They are nocturnal and sleep under the mud or sand by day and only emerge at night to forage amongst the seafloor for food. When disturbed they speed into the sand or mud only to disappear again. Night dives at Aramoana canprovide large numbers of beaked salmon out over the sand.

May grow up to 60cm in length but sizes around 30cm are more common.

Brown topknot  

Brown Topknot

Notoclinus compressus

FISH and Mammals

The brown topknot is variable in colour but is often a ready brown. It has transparent windows in its fins and sometimes its body to aid in camouflage. It differs from the topknot - notoclinus fenestratus by not being so large and having a smaller mouth and larger eye. These are commonly found at Wellers rock throughout the brown seaweeds, but are difficult to spot because of there well blending camouflage.

Lengths of up to 13cm may be reached.