Long Island Collecting Log: Another deep-water anthiine specimen!

by | Oct 26, 2015 | Eye Candy, Fish | 1 comment


Two years ago I posted here about a deep-water anthiine caught in 3 feet of water in Shinnecock Bay, by my friend, Bob Jankie. From photos of the specimen, Smithsonian ichthyologist and deep-water serranid expert, Carole Baldwin tentatively identified it as either Hemanthias vivanus (red barbier) or Choranthius tenuis (threadnose bass). Six months later when the specimen perished in our holding tank, I sent it to her for more detailed examination and DNA sequencing. After nearly a year, the DNA results came back and showed our fish to be a close match to a genus named for Carole, specifically, Baldwinella aureorubens (streamer bass).  This catch and subsequent ID is big news for two reasons: 1.) It is a considerable range extension for the species, which has not been recorded north of Florida; and 2.) the streamer bass is normally found in 400-2000 feet of water, and since this specimen was found at a depth of 3 feet, it is also a depth record.

After two more years of obsessive diving, snorkeling, and seine netting in Shinnecock Bay, I was beginning to think that Bob’s find was merely a fluke and that I had no chance of finding one myself. Then, one summer morning while at the beach with my family, I got a text from Bob, who was snorkeling around a dock, only about 200 yards from where we were sitting, telling me he had something I needed to see. A few minutes later, I met him in the parking lot and was stunned to see a second B. aureorubens in his bucket!

I’ve spent a lot of time puzzling over why I haven’t found a streamer bass, myself with all the diving I do in the area. I’m pretty sure I spend more time in the water than Bob does. Most of my collecting efforts consist of diving at a maximum of about 20 feet, whereas Bob spends most of his time snorkeling in much shallower water. Ironically, my problem might be that I am not looking in shallow enough water for this deep-water anthiine.

Check out the Fall, 2015 issue of Reefs Magazine for more on the Serranids of New York.


Baldwinella aureorubrens

  • Todd Gardner

    Todd Gardner is a professor of marine biology at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, NY. His life and his career have both been shaped by his passion for marine life and he has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. Todd’s professional background includes work on a National Geographic documentary, commercial aquaculture at C-quest Hatchery in Puerto Rico, and an 11-year term at the Long Island Aquarium where he spent much of his time developing techniques for rearing marine fish larvae. To date he has raised more than 50 species. In 2013 Todd received the prestigious Aquarist of the Year Award from the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA). In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, runs marathons, and plays in a blues band.

1 Comment

  1. Joe Fish

    Looks like the name is misspelled. aureorubens, not aureorubrens. Neat fish.


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