Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Meet the Local Species At Taputeranga

25 August 2008

Meet the Local Species of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve


Click for big version
New species of nudibranch discovered during the 2007 South Coast Marine Bioblitz. Geoff Read, NIWA

*****


With the opening of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve planned for the 28 August and Conservation Week (7-14 September) just around the corner – what better time to meet some of the ‘local’ species of the Wellington South Coast? Here are some of the creatures you may spot while out snorkelling, diving, taking photos, kayaking, building sandcastles, picnicking on the beach or investigating rock pools in the Taputeranga Marine Reserve.

Images courtesy of Rob Marshall

Sea hares

Well camouflaged in their feeding ground of sea lettuce and red and green algae, the black sea hare, Aplysia brunnea, sprays a purple dye to ward off predators.



Click for big version


Sea horses

New Zealand’s only seahorse is the manaia, Hippocampus abdominalis. They are common close to the coast, below the low tide level. Seahorses are not good swimmers - they wait for a meal to swim by! Male seahorses give birth to up to 500 babies.



Click for big version


Giant kelp

This seaweed prefers colder waters and is often called bladder kelp because of the pods that keep it afloat, This brings the blades closer to the surface and the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. Giant kelp is one of the fastest growing seaweeds in the world – growing more than 30 cm a day and can grow to lengths of 30 metres.


Click for big version


Hagfish

This fish has no scales, no bones, no jaws and no eyes! The hagfish is sometimes called the blind eel and tends to live in dark places where eyes are less important for finding food. It has six barbells around the mouth which it uses to sniff out prey.



Click for big version


Anemones

Sometimes it is hard to tell if things in the sea are plants or animals. Many animals live attached to rocks and have evolved tactics to obtain their food from the water passing by. Some, like anemones, have developed special stinging cells to actively acquire their prey.


Click for big version

Sponges

Sponges are animals that obtain their food by sieving the water. There are almost 700 species of sponge in New Zealand and come in a dazzling array of colours, shapes and sizes.


Click for big version

Nudibranchs

Nudibranchs are sea slugs which come in such a vast array of colours they are real treats to spot while diving. A new species was discovered during the 2007 Marine Bioblitz on the south coast. Possibly taking on the colour of the seaweed on which it feeds, it was temporarily named the ‘Christmas nudibranch’ due to its red, white and green colouration.


Sand flounder


Widespread in muddy and sandy sea floors, this fish is well camouflaged by its flat shape and colour (which it can change in seconds). As larvae they swim upright and their eyes are on either side of their head, but as they get older the left eye ends up on the right side of the head and they flatten.


Click for big version

You can find out more about the species that inhabit the south coast and the Taputeranga Marine Reserve during Conservation Week on Sunday 7 September. People involved with the reserve will be giving 15 minute talks at points along the coast between Island Bay and the Owhiro Bay visitor centre between 11.30 am and 3 pm.

For more information about Conservation Week events, the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, or the species that inhabit our coastal waters, check out the DOC website or contact the Wellington Visitor Centre on 04 384 7770 or email wellingtonvc@doc.govt.nz.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news