Fish Of The Intertidal Zone

If you stop and take the time to look closely in the rock pools you may be surprised at the number of small fish you can see swimming around. The majority of the small ones are called triple fins, as they have three dorsal fins. There are 26 species of triplefins in New Zealand and all of them are endemic, meaning they are found here and no where else in the world (apart from three species that have invaded Australia). So far we have photographed eight species at Otaipango, Henderson Bay.

The common triplefin, Forsterygion lapillum, is the most common one found in the rock pools and intertidal zones while the Blue-Eyed Triplefin, Notoclinops segmentatus, and the Ruanoho whero are found in the shallow subtidal zone.

Click on each photo below to view more detail.

All photos have been taken at Otaipango – Henderson Bay

As well as the triplefins you can sometimes see schools of fish in the larger rock pools. These coule be Parore (Girella tricuspidata) which can be identified by black stripes on their bodies or spotties (Notolabrus celidotus), so called because of the big black spot on the side of their body.

Not found in the intertidal zones, but sometimes washed up, is the Porcupine Fish Allomycterus pilatus identifyable by the spikes that covers its body.

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