Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chelidonichthys lucerna (Tub Gurnard)

Tub Gurnard
Library Picture

Commonly called gurnard, and in this case a Tub Gurnard which is a reddish–bluish with a spiny armoured head. They also have spines around the gills that can inject a poison cuasing some pain for a couple of days (I can vouch for this personally). Of the Triglidae family (which include Sea Robin and other commonly called scorpion fish) they have pectoral fins that have developed into finger like legs used for crawling along the sea bed. They also have two other butterfly like pectoral fins of great size with a rather beautiful blue colouring. They retract these fins when swimming but extend them while sitting on the bottom. However, they do sometimes kind of flap their fins whilst swimming almost like birds flying. It is a coastal species, prevalent in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Cape Blanc and is also found, though less common, in the Black Sea and southern Baltic.

One I caught and released

Their mating season is quite long from May to August and all year around Africa. They can be found in shallow water on sandy and muddy bottoms but other members of the Triglidae family can be found on rocky bottoms.

One of the many curious things about this fish is the croaking noise they can make when fished. They can do this with the use of a “drumming muscle” they can beat against their bladder.
They are quite tasty, firm meaty fish although very spiny.

Happy Fishing

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