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20

NOV

Grunters can be flippers

Grunters are a widespread group of fishes in freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats mostly found in tropical Australia, Papua New Guinea and the tropical Pacific islands. Last year coal grunters (attire: black body, gold flecks) were observed moving and flipping objects in search of prey. Obviously sequels rarely live up to the hype of the original, so in this case scientists have enlisted two fresh heroes for the full bill.

Grunter-1.png Coal grunters cruising loosely in a shoal (Photo: B. C. Ebner)

Hot off the press, juveniles of the silver grunter (dressed in horizontal stripes) and the barred grunter (sporting vertical bands) display dexterity rarely seen in freshwater fishes. Several individuals of these species were observed in north Queensland rolling, shifting and lifting stones, leaves and wood to get at prey that hides on the underside of these objects during the day.

Grunter-2.png A juvenile silver grunter. (Photos: B. C. Ebner) Grunter-3.png A group of barred grunter juveniles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scientist Stuart Welsh, whilst visiting TropWATER recently from the West Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, declared that ‘These recent findings of grunters flipping stuff bares similarity to the feeding biology of logperches in streams of the USA’. Dr Welsh was out here teaching Ebner some snorkel based fish observation skills. To access the GIF files of this behaviour go check out the links in the respective

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I thought that was just common knowledge , same goes with the spangled perch. I've seen fresh and salt water garfish flick mangrove leaves and pieces of weed , out of the water, looking for food.

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37 minutes ago, hareysfish said:

I thought that was just common knowledge , same goes with the spangled perch. I've seen fresh and salt water garfish flick mangrove leaves and pieces of weed , out of the water, looking for food.

Didn't know but I've always found the freshwater grunters interesting and intelligent.

I was actually looking for a coal grunter but the cheapest I can find is $80. I got 4 of them from livefish years ago when they were on sale for $9.95ea. Maybe their not being bred every year these days.

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No to sure on the coal grunters, but I've kept the black banded and target fish, both are pretty cool fish if you have 1 or 2 in a tank , but once you go over the 2, they school up on a target and don't stop until it's cleaned up, pretty interesting to watch, until it's one of your prized fish.

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1 hour ago, hareysfish said:

No to sure on the coal grunters, but I've kept the black banded and target fish, both are pretty cool fish if you have 1 or 2 in a tank , but once you go over the 2, they school up on a target and don't stop until it's cleaned up, pretty interesting to watch, until it's one of your prized fish.

Yer they will all gang up on things like shrimp that are way to big to fit in their mouths and just tare them up.  I have kept both those but their not my favorite although the banded do make great barra bait.  If you want some banded grunter they are apparently all over SEQ now, I caught half a dozen of them from forest lake, until someone complained about me fishing there.

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No worries mate,  but I'm up in the Gladstone region and  there all over the place up here, I haven't used them for bait as such, but I have used spangled perch for bait and did alright.

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Well I only really used the banded grunter once up at kinchant dam and caught a nice barra at the boat ramp at night, I more used to using mullet, herring or gar as I did most of my fishing in the salt water when I lived up north.

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I had a spangled perch a few months ago but the new jungle perch was chasing it constantly so I tried using it for murray cod bait, I caught nothing that day but was worth a try, I think those kind of fish make good bait as they stay alive for a long time on the hook and do plenty of swimming, attracting the predators.

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