Thymichthys politus

Brachionichthyidae
Red Handfish
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Andrew Green
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith

Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Andrew Green
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thymichthys politus, Frederick Henry Bay, TAS.  Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith

Distribution
Localised
Description
Despite being red, this species can be very difficult to find amongst the base of seaweeds. Females lay eggs at the base of green Caulerpa seaweeds in spring and stand guard until they hatch. Arguably one of the rarest marine fish species in the world. Found at Port Arthur in the 1800's and once spread across south-eastern Tasmania, it has only been known only from a single 50 m strip of rocky reef in south-eastern Tasmania for the last 15 years. A recent discovery of a second population has doubled the population estimate to 40-80 individuals. *note the occurrence information below reflects its occurrence at the one site monitored by RLS divers within its known distribution.
Information
  • Max Size: 10 cm
  • Depth: 2 - 7 m
  • Habitat: Rocky Reef
Rarity
  • Threats: Climate change/warming, Exploitation, Habitat degradation, Invasive species
  • IUCN Threat Status: Not Evaluated
  • Occurrence: Widespread (100% of sites)
    Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed
  • Abundance: Few (2 per transect)
    Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.
Edit by: Rick S-S
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