Latest News from Northland Dive

Apr 11, 2011, Unicorn Triggerfish (Aluterus monoceros) on the Canterbury Wreck

Photographer Charlie McVicar

The first sighting of this fish was on the 26th of March by Tara Barry, and Shane Housham of Northland Dive who normally has a camera permanently attached to his arm was running a PADI Advanced Course on Sunday 10th April on the Canterbury Wreck (Deep Water Cove) in the Bay of Islands, Murphy's Law he spotted the biggest Leatherjacket he's ever seen in 20 years of diving, on closer inspection it looked more like a Trigger fish and oversized John Dory cross breed, Luckily we had two friends diving on the day Antoinette Le Valliant and Charlie McVicar, Charlie had a camera and managed to get a great photograph of this unusual fish which is approximately 40-50cm in length.

ID by: Malcolm Francis

What a superb photo! It's not the scribbled triggerfish Aluterus scriptus, but it's close relative the unicorn triggerfish Aluterus monoceros. Both species have been recorded before in northern NZ waters but both are very rare. They are semi-pelagic and associate with drifting seaweed and logs, hence can travel long distances on ocean currents. The scribbled leatherjacket differs in having scribbled blue lines and dots on its body, lots of black speckles, a longer tail and a concave forehead profile

This ID is thanks once again to Wade Doak and his fantastic website

Posted by: julia
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