Image: Warty Prowfish and cloudy fluid

Warty Prowfish and cloudy fluid

A Warty Prowfish, Aetapcus maculatus, ejecting a cloud of presumably toxic fluid from near the gills.

Bill Boyle
© Bill Boyle


The image was taken during a dive between 11.10 am and 12.40 pm, at Popes Eye in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, 30 March 1988.

Bill commented that the fish "was under kelp and when uncovered it was startled and swam up about 0.5 m off the reef, stopped in mid water and expelled the white milky cloud. The cloud stayed motionless very like octopus ink (except white) while the fish darted down very fast into the reef. I took the shot instinctively, but knew the fish was nearby, when I saw it again, it looked rather indifferent or perhaps resting, and again another stream of the fluid pumped out from what looked like a pore above the gills (see top right image).

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Tags fishes, ichthyology, Pataecidae, Warty Prowfish, Aetapcus maculatus,