Thursday, January 10, 2008

Unussual Port Elizabeth Fish possibly a gnomefish

Thanx to Mark Kallman I have some idea what that fish which shot on New years day was. It was only 400 g, had a monster eye and very impressive teeth for its size. Mark suggested it was Scombrops Boops (a type of gnomefish).
Here is a pic of it - note the massive eye.

I looked around a bit and it is certainly a close fit except that the eye seem proportionately larger than the pictures I found of Scombrops Boops. Looking at other Scombrops species I found a close match on the relative size of the eye and shape but not colour. It had distictively long sharp teeth.

Perhaps it is Scombrops oculatus a close relative. I found a pic of one that was taken in South America - black and the eye is in proportion to the one I speared. These fish attain a size of 10 kg. Mine was 4% of the way there. The angler hauled this fish up from 1500 feet - the depth explains the big eye - deep water operators. Juveniles are reported as shallow as 20 m.

Fishbase details:

Environment: bathydemersal; marine; depth range 200 – 610 m
Climate: deep-water; 26°N -
Importance: gamefish: yes; price category: not marketed/unknown
Resilience: Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.)
Gazetteer Western Atlantic: Straits of Florida in USA, especially along western Bahamas, but ranges widely in tropical western Atlantic. Possibly nearly worldwide in tropical region.
Biology: Commonly caught by anglers at depths between 200-610 m.

If this is not the same species then it is close. What do you think?

1 comment:

aquadementia said...

Hi Gletwyn, check out the link, it has 2 pics of a gnomefishcaught off Jeffreys Bay today