Swan River Hardyhead
The hardyhead family are a large group of small, slender fishes with two dorsal fins. Instead of having a lateral line that most fish species exhibit the hardyheads have a silver or reddish stripe along the side. They are most commonly known as baitfish and play an important ecological role as they are prey for pelagic fishes such as trevally and also seabirds.The Swan River hardyhead has a silvery lower half and a slightly darker, greenish dorsal surface, and only reaches a maximum length of 11 centimetres. It prefers clear, protected inshore waters and is often found in estuaries of up to five metres in depth, occurring in schools of tens of thousands. The Swan River hardyhead is one of the most abundant of all fishes in shallow marine environments along the southern coast of Australia, from the Houtman Abrolhos islands, WA and NSW. They are endemic to Australian waters. The Swan River hardyhead feed on both bottom-living and planktonic prey.
Other common names include: Silver fish.
Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:
Very commonly sighted in shallow waters close to shore forming visually spectacular schools of thousands of individuals. Rarely observed from the underwater observatory, though have been spotted close to the surface in the intertidal window, solitary.
Image by: O. Rynvis