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Watching an anglerfish grow

By: Mark McGrouther, Category: Science, Date: 11 Jul 2014

Most people have never watched a fish 'grow up' in the wild, but over a 5 month period Jayne Jenkins did just that.

Striate Anglerfish - November 2013

Jayne Jenkins © Jayne Jenkins

In November 2013, Jayne spotted a juvenile Striate Anglerfish at Clifton Gardens in Sydney Harbour at a depth of 8-9 m. During the next twenty dives Jayne took many photographs of the fish. This page and the image gallery show the fish growing over time.

When first observed the fish was an ever-so-cute juvenile about 2 cm long. It was white with scattered black markings. During December the stripes became more obvious and the fish grew to about 4 cm in length.

Photographs taken on 5 January showed that the fish had continued to grow and was then 8-9 cm long with darker markings.

By mid-April it was 12-13 cm long, had developed a pinkish tinge, and its dark markings and stripes were very obvious.

Of course it is not possible to be absolutely certain that the fish seen on each dive was the same individual but Jayne is pretty confident because there have been very few white individuals observed.

Footnote:

* Jayne is a regular diver in the waters of Sydney Harbour.  Many of her fish photographs appear on the Australian Museum website.

Tags Antennarius striatus, Striate Anglerfish, Antennariidae, marine, grow, time, age, Sydney Harbour, Clifton Gardens, Jayne Jenkins,