NZ Fish Identification Guide

Identification guide for less common recreationally caught or seen species, or often misidentified, from New Zealand.
There are plenty of identification books, websites, and pages out there that will go into more detail, and written by people that know more than I ever will...
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However, there are regular species that keep cropping up on social media that people request ID for, maybe have several different names, and often are given a wrong or silly answer which just adds to the confusion.
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Many species may be common to some fisherman, but not so much to divers, spearos, and vice versa.
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I have listed their Common names , (other names), Latin, and maori names.
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This will be a work in progress and I hope will be of help to all that use and share it.
Cheers...
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Note: Reference photos have been randomly downloaded from the internet and may or may not be copyrighted. If they are, please let me know.  No harm intended.
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REEF/INSHORE
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Sweep.  Scorpis lineolata.  Sometimes mistaken for small Blue maomao

 

Blue Maomao. Scorpis violacea.  

 

Demoiselle. Chromis dispilus

 

Butterfly Perch.  Caesioperca lepidoptera.  oia

 

Rock Cod. Lotella rhacina

Can be confused with Red Cod and Ling

 

Red Cod. Pseudophycis bachus.  hoka

 

Ling. Genypterus blacodes.  hoka, hokarari

 

Spotted Stargazer. Genyagnus monopterygius.  kourepoua

 

Red Banded Perch.  Hypoplectrodes huntii

 

 Sea Perch. (Jock Stewart, Scarpy) Helicolenus percoides.  pahuikaroa

 

Red Scorpionfish. (Red Rock Cod, Grandfather Hapuku)

Scorpaena cardinalis. matua-whapuku

 

 

Marblefish. Aplodactylus arctidens.  kiki

 

Kelpfish. Chironemus marmoratus. hiwihiwi

Often confused with Marblefish

 

Banded Wrasse. Notolabrus fucicola

 

Red Pigfish - Male.  Bodianus unimaculatus.  pakurakura, tanahanaha

Red Pigfish- Female

 

Scarlet Wrasse.  Pseudolabrus miles.  pau, puwaiwhakarua

Can be mistaken for Red Pigfish

 

Foxfish. Bodianus frenchii

Can be mistaken for Red Pigfish

 

Silver Drummer.  Kyphosus sydneyanus

Sometimes confused with Parore

 

Parore.  Girella tricuspidata.  (Luderick in Australia)

Sometimes confused with Silver Drummer, and Porae by name

 

Porae.  Nemadactylus douglasii (Morwong in Australia)

Sometimes confused with Parore by name

 

Barracouta.  Thyrsites atun.  manga

Member of the Snake Mackerel family - not to be confused with the tropical Barracuda

 

 Jack Mackerel.   hauture

Three Jack mackerel species are found around New Zealand:

Trachurus declivis, T. novaezelandiae, and T. murphyi,

all pelagic species belonging to the Carangidae family

(trevallies, kingfishes).

 

Koheru.  Decapterus koheru

Sometimes mistaken for Jack Mackerel

 

Yelloweye Mullet.  Aldrichetta forsteri.  aua

Often incorrectly called herrings or sprats

 

Sprat. Sprattus muelleri

 

Pilchard. Sardinops neopilchardus

 

PELAGIC

Mackerel/Tuna

 

Skipjack Tuna.  Katsuwonus pelamis

Often incorrectly called and sold as Bonito

 

Bonito. Sarda spp.

From the family of Scombrids not found in NZ,

closely resembling Skipjack Tuna

 

Tuna

Marlin

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Mako Isurus oxyrinchus (top)

vs Blue Shark Prionace glauca Mango pounamu

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False Killer whale vs Pilot Whale