Australia’s Newest Fish Species Fights By Kissing

Long the subject of local legend, the ‘blue bastard’ has been offically identified

The ‘Blue Bastard’ has been officially identified by scientists from the Queensland Museum.

Now known as Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus, the fish was nicknamed ‘Blue Bastard’ due to its bluish colour and being hard to catch. 

Weipa fisherman Ben Bright brought the fish to Queensland Museum Ichthyologist Jeff Johnson’s attention when he emailed photos of the fish last year. 

The ‘Blue Bastard’ exhibits a unique ‘kissing’ form of aggressive behaviour between rival males where they rush each other and lock jaws in prolonged and violent struggles.

Image credit: Queensland Museum

The sub-species of Sweetlips can be found on the shallow reefs of Australia’s north.

Queensland Museum CEO & Director Professor Suzanne Miller said being able to scientifically confirm the existence of this hitherto undescribed fish is another exciting achievement for Queensland Museum scientists.

“2014-15 was a hugely successful year for us, with our scientists describing 120 new species ranging from protozoans to mammals.

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