Newly Identified Australian Fish Named Blue Bastard

Posted on September 26, 2015

Blue Bastard fish from Northern Australia

A newly identified Australian fish has been named the Blue Bastard. The fish was identified by Jeff Johnson, a scientist from the Queensland Museum. The fish had been previously confused with another species.

The Guardian reports that the reef fish had been known to fisherman for sometime as being both elusive and combative. It is described as being a "bastard to catch." The fish turns blue when it was adult which is a big change from the juvenile fish which is yellow with white and grey stripes. The scientific name for the fish is plectorhinchus caeruleonothus with caeruleo meaning blue and nothus meaning bastard.

A research paper on the fish was published here in the journal, Zootaxa. Johnson told The Guardian, "I wondered what the reviewers of the paper would say about it but they both agreed it was quintessentially Australian and we should go ahead."

Johnson also told Mashable, "Fisherman have been calling it this name for twenty odd years, so I thought what better name to use? It's quite an affectionate term, because the fisherman have to do quite a bit of fishing before they find one."

The fish are also known for their unique form of combat. The males lock their jaws and battle near the surface of the water. The combat is referred to as "kissing" by local fisherman.

Photo: Queensland Museum