Streaked Gurnard – Chelidonichthys lastoviza

African Rock streaked Gurnard Trigloporus lastoviza Chelidonichthys lastoviza image diving canary islands fish Mediterranean sea
Streaked Gurnard – Chelidonichthys lastoviza
Strangest fact about the species is that it has legs.

The Streaked Gurnard, also known as Rock Gurnard or African Gurnard is a species in the family of Perciformes and thus belongs to the superclass of Bony Fish. Chelidonichthys lastoviza was first described by Bonnaterre in 1788. The species is still often and erroneously referred to in many sources as Trigloporus lastoviza.

Description, Anatomy & Characteristics

The Streaked Gurnard has an elongated, almost conical body. Both the body and its wing-like pectoral fins are beige in colour and have dark, ring-shaped stripes, with lighter and darker spots here and there. When it spreads its wings, a bright blue edge appears.

The really special detail about its appearance is that three of the hard rays of the pectoral fins are free and thus resemble feet.

The head is relatively large, with an equally large mouth and fleshy lips.

Chelidonichthys lastoviza becomes up to 40cm long, although it is usually only 15cm.

Habitat & Distribution

The Streaked Gurnard lives on rocky, sandy or muddy soils, in depths between 10 and 225m. From time to time it can also be found in shallower waters.

When diving on the Canary Islands you can rarely see it. However, it can often be observed locally.

Its distribution range is relatively wide. In the eastern Atlantic, it can be found from Norway, via Great Britain, along the European coast, around the Azores and Madeira. Chelidonichthys lastoviza is also common in the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and Baltic Sea. On the coast of Africa it can be found from South Africa to Mozambique.

Biology, Reproduction & Feeding

The Streaked Gurnard lives benthically, i.e. on the seabed. It moves with his feet for short distances. Only when in danger or to cover longer distances, it spreads its wing-like pectoral fins to swim. It also uses its feet as tactile organs.

The spawning season of Chelidonichthys lastoviza is in the summer months. The eggs with a diameter of 1.3 mm float on the water surface due to embedded oil droplets.

Its diet consists mainly of small crustaceans.

By tensing the muscles around the swim bladder, the Streaked Gurnard can produce sounds, giving it its name.

Sources & Links