PORT PHILLIP BAY


Red Gurnard 

Chelidonichthys kumu (Lesson, 1826)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: VIII-IX; 15-16
Anal fin spines/rays: 14-15
Caudal fin rays: 11
Pectoral fin rays: 11 + 3
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 62-65

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A diverse group of bottom-dwelling fishes with a bony ridge, or stay across the cheek connecting the bones under the eye with the gill cover. Most species have spines projecting from bony ridges on the head and some have spines projecting from the gill cover. Many species are well-camouflaged ambush predators, often with elaborate cirri, filaments, leaf-like appendages and spiny ridges enhancing their camouflage. Scales are present or absent. Gurnards (also called searobins) have a pair of rostral spines projecting from the snout, large colourful wing-like pectoral fins and crawl over the bottom on their finger-like pelvic-fin rays.

Family level detail.
A large family of bottom-dwelling fishes found mostly on sandy and muddy bottoms, with large bony armoured heads, two bony projections on front of snout, and large, colourful, wing-like pectoral fins. The three lower rays are thickened and free from the rest of the fin, and used for ?walking? over the bottom and probing the substrate for food. They lack venom glands, and display their brightly coloured pectoral fins to startle predators.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Family:
Triglidae
Genus:
Chelidonichthys
Species:
kumu

General Description

Body slender; head large, bony; snout blunt without projecting spines; scales tiny, those along the dorsal-fin bases large and thorn-like. Reddish to greyish brown above, pale below; fan-like pectoral fins greenish-grey with blue spots, a blue margin and black blotch scattered with white spots near the base. To 50 cm.

Biology

This species is seen more often by anglers than divers. It is commercially fished in southern Australia, and is considered very good eating.

Habitat

Usually on soft bottoms in offshore waters, occasionally entering deeper parts of bays, in depths of 2-200 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

New Zealand and possibly South Africa. Southern Australia. In Victoria, rarely in Port Phillip.

Species Group

Fishes Gurnards

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

50 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Red Gurnard, Chelidonichthys kumu, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6491

Text: creative commons cc by licence