The critter of the month for July/Hōngongoi is Aotearoa New Zealand's most colourful native fish, the redfin bully.
The male redfin bully or Gobiomorphus huttoni is our most colourful native fish. They adorn boulders in stream beds across mid-lowland Aotearoa, flashing glorious fans of dappled red and grey on their tails and fins.
Both the male and female bullies wear strong diagonal stripes on their cheeks like warpaint, setting them apart from other bullies. Like many native fish species in Aotearoa, they spend some of their life in freshwater, and some at sea.
Their diet consists of aquatic invertebrates. Full of tasty mayflies, midges and caddisflies, the redfin bully will spawn in freshwater streams, the male guarding the nest. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae are swept out to sea. Juvenile bullies will return to freshwater in the spring and can grow up to 12 cm long before starting the whole cycle again.
Over the past month, the redfin bully has been found in eight of the publicly available samples on the map.
Did you find DNA of redfin bully in your eDNA sample? Can you trace it’s path out to sea from the sample site, or guess what it might be eating?