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Stalking a Blue-tailed Dartfish 2 Jan 2013

Posted by cat64fish in Tales from the N2 bar.
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Zee and Debby have a paper out in Nature in Singapore, documenting the observation of a new fish record for Singapore: the Blue-tailed Dartfish (Ptereleotris hanae). Check out the video link the electronic version of the paper, showing a pair of them at Palau Hantu. A really beautiful fish, but shy and elusive; up till Zee asked me for a still image of the fish, the video was our best record for its occurrence in Singapore.

I’d seen the fish twice before at Hantu, once at the western side, and once at the northern tip near Bukom; both times, I didn’t get a useable image – being a particularly shy fish, getting up close and personal with it was very difficult, and the sediment in the water made long-distance shots almost impossible. The third time was the charm though, because this time, the fish was out and about, apparently busy feeding on plankton. After several attempts at long-distance (long distance here meaning more than 1.5m away) proved unsuccessful, I decided to just acclimatize the fish to my presence by just hanging around its feeding range, and trying my best to look busy taking photos of anything else except the fish. The ruse seemed to work (or maybe it was just very hungry!) – after about 15mins (and my inching in about half a meter), the fish seemed to ignore me and my buddy’s presence.

Taking this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity, I happily snapped away before cold and lack of air ended our encounter. Of the 2 dozen or so images I took, only about a quarter of them turned out to be useable, and the best one was chosen for the paper.

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Yay! 😀

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Noteworthy fishes of Singapore 18 Feb 2009

Posted by cat64fish in Land-lubber stories.
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I managed to get a paper (article 12 on the list) published in “Nature in Singapore“, and e-journal edited and published by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (formerly known as the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research). It documents 5 fishes recorded in Singapore that we’ve seen during surveys of the coral reefs. Three are new records, namely the titan triggerfish, Janss’ pipefish and humphead bannerfish. Of the remaining two, the polka dot grouper had not been observed live by divers locally, although two specimens exist in LKCNHM; the banded goby was previously reported by other researchers, but strangely, no specimen or photograph exists of it, until now.

It still amazes how much our marine environment, just a stone’s throw away from where most of us live, still harbours such beauties. Makes me wonder what else is out there.

Other “new” finds …. Lots of nudi’s at Colourful Clouds blog; sea stars on the Wild Shores blog and many more, I expect.

*Updated links 7 March 2017