Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
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Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
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Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "There are two dive sites at Middle Ground, both are fantastic"
    Bare Island - Anglerfish
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Sea Horses of Bare Island Bare Island is the most amazing dive location. There are at least 10 different dives that can be done with only small sections being repeated (on the way to or from the main aim of the dive). The marine life is astounding considering how we have treated Botany Bay since Lieutenant James Cook, RN, first entered the Bay in April 1770 and his compatriot, Captain Arthur Phillip, RN, bought the First Fleet into the same Bay in 1788.

    Bare Island has some many different types of marine life that help make it so special. One of these are anglerfish. There are three different species of anglerfish that are regularly seen as well as a couple of other species that have been sighted on rare occasions. The anglerfish can be found basically anywhere around the island, but most I have seen have been on the Right Side of Bare Island.

    The species we see are as follows:

    Bare Island or red-fingered anglerfish - Porophryne erythrodactylus
  • Striped or striated anglerfish - Antennarius striatus
  • Painted anglerfish - Antennarius pictus
  • The following are some photographs of these anglerfish, all taken at Bare Island. Some will show the same anglerfish as it grows.

    BARE ISLAND ANGLERFISH

    Porophryne erythrodactylus - Very hard to find due to camouflage and the fact they hide anywhere, even upsidedown. Only first found in the early 2000s at Bare Island. Generally only found in Botany Bay and nearby reefs, but rumoured to have been seen further south of here. They seem to hang around in the one location for a short time and then move. Some have been known to come back after a year or more absence.

    There are many colours, including grey, orange, yellow and more. They also seem to be able to change colours, as we have seen one that was orange and then later was yellow. Individuals can be recognised by the pattern of growths on them, especially around the mouth and eyes.

    Bare Island AnglerfishBare Island Anglerfish
    This Bare Island anglerfish was seen by me on 23 September 2020Here is the same anglerfish, now orange, seen on 9 November 2021
    Seen in same general location as before
    Bare Island AnglerfishBare Island Anglerfish

    STRIPED/STRIATED ANGLERFISH

    Antennarius striatus - much more common and easier to find, come in many colours including brown, black and yellow. These are quite variable in size, from small ones about 150 mm long to big fat ones 250 mm long.

    Bare Island AnglerfishBare Island Anglerfish
    This Bare Island anglerfish was seen by me on 23 September 2020Here is the same anglerfish, now orange, seen on 9 November 2021
    Seen in same general location as before
    Bare Island AnglerfishBare Island Anglerfish

    PAINTED ANGLERFISH

    Antennarius pictus - most of the ones we see are tiny babies, starting from 3 mm in length. The colours are mostly orange for baby ones but adults can be other colours including black. We see far more tiny ones than adults. These tend to be on the sides of rocks or walls rather than flat on the top.

    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    This tiny painted anglerfish was seen on 9 November 2021 The same anglerfish, a few days later on 19 November 2021
    Seen in exact same spot
    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    Another photo of the painted anglerfish, 29 December 2021, markings more prominent now
    Has moved a few metres to another rock
    The same anglerfish, on 13 January 2022, 300 mm long and more prominent markings
    Now on top of the rock rather than the side
    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    This tiny painted anglerfish was found by me on 9 November 2021 The same anglerfish, a bit bigger, seen on 10 December 2021
    Seen in exact same spot
    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    This tiny painted anglerfish was seen on 20 April 2020 Another anglerfish seen on 9 May 2020
    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    This tiny painted anglerfish was first seen on 26 August 2020 The same anglerfish, a bit bigger, seen on 7 October 2020
    Seen in exact same spot
    Painted AnglerfishPainted Anglerfish
    The same tiny painted anglerfish as above two photos, 5 January 2021 The same anglerfish, a fair bit bigger than the first photo, 12 January 2021
    Still in exact same spot

    SUMMARY

    For more information about the dives, go to the Bare Island Dives index.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2023
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for over 25 years by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!