Larval characteristics of some fishes from the East Coast of Southern New Zealand
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The status of early life history descriptions for teleost fishes in New Zealand is low in comparison to other areas around the world. New Zealand itself is well-positioned to increase the number of teleost species that are known as larvae with species from subtropical, temperate, and sub-Antarctic waters being found within New Zealand's Excusive Economic Zone. Areas that have a high diversity of species are likely to be where different water currents converge. Work on larval fishes in New Zealand has been predominantly focussed in northern New Zealand; an area of convergence between subtropical water and warm-temperate water. Relatively less work has been done in central and southern New Zealand. In particular, very little work has been done in the subtropical convergence zone on the east coast of the South Island. Forty three species of larval fishes collected from Kaikoura are identified, described, and illustrated. Seventeen species (Stokellia anisodon, Diaphus sp., Pseudophycis bacchus, Echiodon pegasus, Paratrachichthys trailli, Leptonotus elevatus, Helicolenus barathri, Scorpaena papillosus, Congiopodus coriaceus, Lepidoperca sp A., Taumakoides rua, Mendosoma lineatum, Grahamina capito, Grahamina signata, Gobiopsis atrata, Seriolella caerulea, and Colistium guntheri) are previously undescribed as larvae, pre-juveniles or pelagic juveniles. Existing descriptive accounts for 14 other species are extended. Available information for each species is synthesised and referenced from both published and unpublished sources. The status of early life history descriptions for New Zealand teleosts is discussed in relation to other geographical regions of the world. The need for plankton tows down to depths of several hundred meters, and also for intensive aquacultural facilities for rearing larvae from eggs, may mean that the availability of research vessels and aquaculture facilities may limit the extent to which larval fishes are known in New Zealand.