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Paraplesiops bleekeri facts for kids

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Paraplesiops bleekeri
Paraplesiops bleekeri 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Synonyms
  • Plesiops bleekeri Günther, 1861

Paraplesiops bleekeri, commonly known as the eastern blue devil, blue-tipped long-fin or Bleeker's blue devil fish, is a species of fish in the family Plesiopidae. This colourful, secretive fish is endemic to Australia, where it is a protected species.

Description

This species grows to 40 cm, and is recognizable by blue and white bands on the body, blue spots on the head, and blue dorsal and anal fins. It also has a yellow base, pectoral, and caudal fins. The pelvic, posterior dorsal, and anal fins are all elongated.

This species is a close relative of the southern blue devil (Paraplesiops meleagris), which lives in the colder southern Australian waters.

Distribution

The fish is found in coastal waters of eastern Australia between the Gold Coast of southern Queensland and Montague Island, most commonly between Sydney and Ulladulla.

Behaviour

This species is shy and secretive. Males have appeared to defend territories in caves or overhangs, where it remains to attract females and drive males away. They are most active at night.

Habitat

Paraplesiops bleekeri are benthic coastal reef inhabitants. They live inside caves, under ledges and overhangs in reefs and estuaries. The Devil in the Deep: Expanding the Known Habitat of a Rare and Protected Fish |journal=European Journal of Ecology |date=28 August 2018 |volume=4 |issue=1 |pages=22–29 |doi=https://doi.org/10.2478/eje-2018-0003}}</ref>. They were considered to inhabit waters ranging from 3 to 30 metres in depth, and are most often encountered in shallow waters less than 20 metres, however, recent observations suggest they also inhabit offshore reefs down to at least 50 metres.

Diet

This fish is known to eat brittle stars.

Conservation status

This species is protected under the laws of New South Wales Fisheries, in particular, the Fisheries Management Act 1994. It is illegal to collect or possess them without a permit.

They are protected because of their low abundance, and their desirability in the marine aquarium industry.

Efforts to protect them have included the conservation and protection of benthic estuarine habitats, as well as rocky offshore reef areas where they breed. Some protected habitats are:

Name

The specific name honours the Dutch ichthyologist and physician Pieter Bleeker (1819-1878) who named two congeners of this species.

  • Eschmeyer, William N., ed. 1998. Catalog of Fishes. Special Publication of the Center for Biodiversity Research and Information, no. 1, vol. 1–3. California Academy of Sciences. San Francisco, California. 2905. .
  • Fetterplace, LC.; Turnbull, JW.; Knott, NA.; Hardy, NA. (2018). "The Devil in the Deep: Expanding the Known Habitat of a Rare and Protected Fish". European Journal of Ecology. 4 (1): 22–29. https://doi.org/10.2478/eje-2018-0003
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