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Flat fish flummoxes the fishos

By: Mark McGrouther, Amanda Hay, Category: Science, Date: 30 May 2014

A larval flounder with a long projection on its snout made waves in the fish section.

Larval Flounder from above

Sue Cotterill © Sue Cotterill

While walking on Tathra beach in February John Chapman came across a very strange looking fish. He gave it to his friends Sue and Don Cotterill who kindly agreed to bring the fish to the Australian Museum (Thank you Sue and Don!).

We examined the fish but could not put a species name on it with confidence.  Retired Australian Museum larval fish expert Jeff Leis suggested that the fish was most likely a species of Laeops. Two species in the genus are currently known from Australian waters; the Smallhead Flounder, Laeops parviceps and Kitahara's Flounder, L. kitaharae.

It  was at this point we turned to the expert - Japanese ichthyologist, Dr Atsushi Fukui. The fish will be sent on loan to Dr Fukui who will examine it and report his findings.  Stay tuned...

Tags Laeops, Bothidae, Sue Cotterill, Don, fishes, ichthyology, Atsushi Fukui, marine, flatfish, cream, yellow, white, dots, black,