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Alex_Mustard

Another from Lembeh. Wierd waspfish?

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While Leslie is away I thought I would post another fish!

 

This is another from Lembeh, that at the time I thought looked like a cross between a waspfish (but was 2-3 times bigger than a cockatoo waspfish) and a small benthic grouper.

 

I would say it was 8-10 inches long. Any ideas?

 

Alex

post-713-1132131449_thumb.jpg

post-713-1132131462_thumb.jpg

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Might be a Velvetfish of some description, Cocotropus larvatus

 

or a Barchin Scorpionfish Sebastapistes strongia

 

or Mauritius Scorpionfish Sebastapistes mauritiana

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Hi Alex, I think the first is Scorpaenodes guamensis, but I am not sure about the second. It most resembles waspfishes because of the first dorsal spine located above the eyes, but doesn't match any in my books. I will forward the photos to Jack Randall.

 

Luiz

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These pictures are from March 2004, so my memory is a bit hazy. They were certainly taken on the same dive and from the Exif they were taken within 7 minutes of each other.

 

I am pretty sure that they were different individuals, but they may have been the same fish.

 

Alex

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I'm still pegging number two as a Velvetfish...B)

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Hi Alex, I am sure they are different species. The overall color (including the red striped pattern of the eye) and general shape of the head is very different. Also, the first dorsal spine originates right in the middle of the eyes on #2 and is way back in the head (maybe above the gill oppenings) in #1. I am almost sure that #1 is a scorpionfish and #2 either a waspfish or a velvetfish.

 

Mike, you may be right, I am not that familiar with Indo-Pacific fish (yet)... :)

 

Luiz

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OK, I accept that they are different!

 

To me the second one looks more Waspfish than Velvetfish.

 

The first one (vertical) could be anywhere between scorpionfish and grouper.

 

Alex

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;)

I want to make a bet, Velvet over Wasp....if its a Scorpion we both lose....#2 only...

 

Whoever loses buys a bottle of vodka whenever we actually meet in person! :D

 

Mind you, saying that and now its going to be the Mauritius scorpion.... :)

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Definitely not a Mauritius scorpionfish, Mike, so you still have a chance for that bottle of vodka. The Mauritius scorpionfish is Rhinopias eschmeyeri, which looks like this:

 

post-4904-1132150267_thumb.jpg

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On the other hand, I have a close :) match to Alex' 2nd fish, also taken in Lembeh, but 2 years ago. This may help with identification... or confuse things utterly :D

 

post-4904-1132150559_thumb.jpg

 

Cheers,

Mat

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Mat's waspfish and Alex' second shot is probably the whiteface waspfish (Richardsonichthys leucogaster).

 

Mat, about the Mauritius scorpionfish, Mike was referring to a different species, Sebastapistes mauritania, which does look like the one in Alex' photo #1. That's why I avoid using common names as much as I can.

 

Alex, the one reason I don't think #1 is a grouper is the skin. Groupers have a smooth skin, the one in the photo has a very rough skin, just like the other scorpionfishes.

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Thanks for the clarification Rocha. How embarrassing. Don't even know the endemic species from my own country!

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Alex's horizontal shot is a longspine waspfish. The other one shown a few threads down is also a longspine waspfish in another variation. Page 382 in DeLoach's Tropical Pacific Book. The first one I am unsure of.

 

Joe

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Ok, I just got a message back from Jack Randall. He also thinks that #1 is a scorpionfish and #2 a waspfish but he is not sure about the species IDs so he forwarded the pictures to Stuart Poss, a specialist in scorpaniformes (the group that includes scorpionfishes and waspfishes). I will let you know.

 

Luiz

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I had a fish photo that I couldn't ID for the longest time...the feature that was the defining thing was the dorsal fin between the eyes, like photo #2...which made it a longfin waspfish. Or the name I like better, Wispy Waspfish (say that three times fast). Not sure if it's the specific species, but I do know they have them at Lembeh.

Cheers,

Marli

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I hope Mustard likes Stoli.... B)

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post-2172-1132274736_thumb.jpgvelvet scorpion fish pair, finishing lunch, kbr sulawesi

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:(:):D

 

Nice!

 

Looks like your pet satanic grouper on the wall wants some too!

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I don't have a dart board at home so the grouper doubles up as one. You have to use the dart gun to get as close to the eye as possible! It is an unusual use of an uw pic!

 

Alex

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Just to give you an update Alex, I haven't heard from Stuart Poss, but I found out that he is based in New Orleans, so I don't expect to hear from him soon.

 

I sent the pictures to Gerry Allen, he is off diving somewhere, I will let you know when he answers.

 

Luiz

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Well, everyone was wrong on this one. I finally got the expert opinion, here it is:

 

"Hi Luiz,

 

Fish 1 is actually a serranid that mimics a scorpanid. It is Centrogenys

vaigiensis. Fish 2 is Apistus(or Paracentropogon) longispinis.

 

Best wishes, Gerry"

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Hmmm....

...the feature that was the defining thing was the dorsal fin between the eyes, like photo #2...which made it a longfin waspfish.

Didn't I say that? My notes from Fishbase equate Paracentropogon longispinus with...aha! Longfin waspfish or Wispy waspfish. That's the trouble with common names. Anyway, at least it was speedy for you to get an ID. It took four years, 3 fish experts, including one rather famous one that said," heck if I know", after dragging the photo half way around the world. It was a photo by Constanino Petrinos on Fishbase that nailed it. Here's my version, asleep in a sea pen. I think they're awfully cute even with the long latin name.

Cheers,

Marli

post-1116-1134703359_thumb.jpg

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To me the second one looks more Waspfish than Velvetfish.

 

The first one (vertical) could be anywhere between scorpionfish and grouper.

 

I don't think I was doing too badly! Thanks Luiz.

 

Alex

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