Tuesday, March 3, 2009

South Cottesloe Beach - Prickly leatherjacket

Welcome to the world of the prickly leatherjacket,
where the boys are pretty and the girls are ... okay.

Last Saturday I saw two fishes for the first time - the fiddler ray and the prickly leatherjacket (Chaetodermis penicilligera).

In fact, I saw two prickly leatherjacket couples. They seemed to always stay within 1 -2 m of each other. I even made a short video clip of them but alas, the video quality is appalling after I uploaded them online, so I will forget about it.

Well, first, let's check out the pretty male:

Look at the tail, I think that's the most beautiful part of the fish's body.

The snout - not so pretty... it reminds me of a boar's face.

Anyway, what's really nice to watch is the fish's undulating dorsal fin when it's swimming.

Unfortunately, the picture here can't quite show it. But believe me, it just looks so nice when it swims around, undulating it's dorsal fin. It's like the fin runs on battery or something.

Well, now let's check out the girl!


And those things on its body? The "tentacles". Apparently many juvenile leatherjackets have these "tentacles" but only the prickly leatherjackets retain them for life. I still have no idea what those tentacles do : (

Although the girl doesn't look like a star, I think when it comes to getting camouflaged on a seaweed-covered reef, the girl will certainly do better!

to Shadowkiller, a Dive-Oz forum member, who id the fish for me.


fremantlebiz said...

These are gorgeous pics - you are providing great inspiration for me - so much that I'm now hankering after the new Canon D10 which will be out soon.

Save the fish; cheers Paul

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hey Paul, thanks!
So you snorkel too? (Or dive?)

Save the fish; Cheers, Chai

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
Always something new to see on your blog.
I still prefer fishes - somehow they seem more "familiar" to me. I don't understand Sea Anemones, Tube Worms, Brittle Stars, etc. I like looking at them, but don't understand how they function, I guess.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Denis,

I don't really know how most of them function either. I just try my best to find out and learn as much as I can.

That's why sometimes I will go on and on and on about how big or weird-looking or pretty a fish is without saying anything else really intelligent : )