Rippled Blaasop wash-out at Kayser’s Beach (Eastern Cape)

A coastal environmental and archaeological field study last week along the coast from Kayser’s Beach westwards revealed some interesting natural history insights which included the documentation of many unusual small Rippled Blaasop fish.

Credit: East London Museum

Rippled Blaasop (Pelagocephalus marki) Pic K. Cole – East London Museum

These were noted having washed up along the drift line, extending into the curved dune systems (dune slacks) and were collected for study by museum scientist Kevin Cole.

Credit: East London Museum

A view of the coastal environment where the fish were found at Kayser’s Beach

The specimens were deposited with museum fish expert, Greg Brett who identified them and had the following comments to make:

”The common named derives from the wavy reticulations on the back.

It is a small species only known from New Zealand and South Africa. It was described in 1981 by Dr Phil Heemstra of JLB Smith institute of Ichthyology (now known as the SA Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity) and is testament to a general  lack of knowledge of these fish.

It is reputed to be pelagic and this wash-up  of a concentrated numbers of individuals is consistent with behavioural aspects of the species.”

Note the riplled markings on the body (Pelagocephalus marki)

Note the rippled markings on the body (Pelagocephalus marki) Pic: K. Cole – East London Museum

This is a first record for the East London Museum of a wash-out by this species along our coast.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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