Blue groper

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Achoerodus
Achoerodus viridis.jpg
Achoerodus viridis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Labridae
Genus:Achoerodus
T. N. Gill, 1863
Type species
Labrus gouldii
J. Richardson, 1843
Blue Groper's.png
Distributions:
Red = eastern blue groper
Dark blue = western blue groper
Synonyms
  • HeterochoeropsSteindachner, 1866
  • PlatychoeropsKlunzinger, 1879

Achoerodus is a genus of wrasses collectively known as blue gropers. They are found in the coastal waters of southern Australia and distinguished by the bright blue colouring of the adult males.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

Wrasse family of fishes

The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly colored. The family is large and diverse, with over 600 species in 81 genera, which are divided into 9 subgroups or tribes. They are typically small fish, most of them less than 20 cm (7.9 in) long, although the largest, the humphead wrasse, can measure up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft). They are efficient carnivores, feeding on a wide range of small invertebrates. Many smaller wrasses follow the feeding trails of larger fish, picking up invertebrates disturbed by their passing. Juveniles of some representatives of the genera Bodianus, Epibulus, Cirrhilabrus, Oxycheilinus, and Paracheilinus hide among the tentacles of the free-living mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Contents

The thick-bodied blue gropers have peg teeth, heavy scales, large tails and thick lips. Juveniles are brown to green brown. Adult females are brown to greenish-yellow. Each scale may have a darker red spot. The adult males have the bright blue colouring that give the fish their name. The blue can range from deep navy to cobalt blue, and there may also be darker or yellow-orange spots or lines around the eyes.

Navy blue very dark shade of the color blue which almost appears as black

Navy blue is a very dark shade of the color blue.

Cobalt Chemical element with atomic number 27

Cobalt is a chemical element with symbol Co and atomic number 27. Like nickel, cobalt is found in the Earth's crust only in chemically combined form, save for small deposits found in alloys of natural meteoric iron. The free element, produced by reductive smelting, is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal.

All blue gropers begin life as females. As they mature, they go through an initial phase, in which they may be male or female, before developing their adult colouring and reaching the terminal phase.

Typically you will only find one or two male blue gropers in an area, with a larger number of the female gropers in the same area. Should the dominant male blue groper die, the largest female will grow, change colour and sex, and become the dominant male.

In Australia certain states like New South Wales have granted protection to this species. It's considered the state fish symbol for the territory and it is illegal to spear blue groper. There is also a limitation on fishing for them with a line. They are extremely inquisitive, and while it is now discouraged to feed them by cutting up urchins, they still will approach divers as if expecting to be fed. Their lifespan is said to be up to 35 years according to some sources, longer according to others.

The fish live in a variety of coastal waters, especially exposed reefs.

Reef A bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water

A reef is a bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water. Many reefs result from abiotic processes, but the best known reefs are the coral reefs of tropical waters developed through biotic processes dominated by corals and coralline algae.

In 1998, the eastern blue groper was made the state fish emblem of New South Wales. [1]

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Species

The currently recognized species in this genus are: [2]

<i>Achoerodus gouldii</i> species of fish

The western blue groper is a species of wrasse native to coastal waters of southern Australia from the Houtman Abrolhos in Western Australia to west of Melbourne. This species prefers areas with rocky substrates and can be found at depths of from 5 to 65 m. Their diet consists of other fishes, small crabs, various molluscs and starfish. This species grows to a length of 175 cm (69 in). Weights of up to 40 kg (88 lb) have been recorded. They have a single long-based dorsal fin, a large squarish tail, thick fleshy lips, large heavy scales and peg-like teeth. This species is of minor importance to local commercial fisheries.

John Richardson (naturalist) Scottish naval surgeon, naturalist and arctic explorer

Sir John Richardson FRS FRSE was a Scottish naval surgeon, naturalist and arctic explorer.

<i>Achoerodus viridis</i> species of fish

The eastern blue groper is a species of wrasse native to southeastern Australia from Hervey Bay in southern Queensland to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. They occur in coastal waters, preferring rocky areas at a depth of about 40 m (130 ft). Juveniles inhabit beds of seagrass in estuaries. The diet of this species consists of invertebrates such as various molluscs, crabs, sea urchins, and cunjevoi. This species grows to a length of 72 cm (28 in) as adult males, while females are less than 60 cm (24 in) long. This species was sometimes sought as a game fish but this is now banned in New South Wales. In 1998, the eastern blue groper was made the state fish emblem of New South Wales.

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References

  1. "Symbols & Emblems of NSW". Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  2. Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Achoerodus in FishBase . August 2013 version.