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Rare 'Flashing' Fish On Display At Southern Encounter

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

17 February 2009 - A very special fish called the Silver spot is on display at Southern Encounter Aquarium & Kiwi House in Cathedral Square. This fish is a unique addition to the facility because only two other specimens have ever been seen in New Zealand waters!

Operations Manager, Dave Bradshaw, is excited to have such an unusual creature on show: "The Silver spot is a close relative of the hiwihiwi or kelpfish found around the North Island, but has a few remarkable differences, one of which being the silver spot on its gill cover which 'flashes' as it breathes! It really is fascinating to see this spot 'blinking' on the side of the fish."

This species is normally found along the South Australian coast but the specimen at Southern Encounter was caught in a crevice off the southern tip of d'Urville Island, just outside the Marlborough Sounds. The other two Silver spots found in New Zealand waters were caught around the lower North Island. The Silver spot grows to a length of 350mm but our specimen is 180mm. They are carnivorous and feed on a range of small invertebrates and fishes. They are found in coastal reef areas, preferring habitats which are heavily covered in seaweed.

"This intriguing little fish has adapted nicely and is feeding well. We encourage people to come and meet a fish they will most likely never see again in our waters" adds Dave.

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