Pic ‘o the week – harlequin close-up

Photo by Carl Charter/Marine Photobank

Close-up of a Harlequin Fish (Othos dentex) in South Australia’s Aldinga Reef Marine Reserve.

This stunning fish, found only in waters around Australia, isn’t protected although conservationists are worried about its future survival.

Scientists have realized that the gill plate markings are unique for each fish, so they can be tracked over time. Photographer Carl Charter notes that this fish has been photographed in the same place since 1997.

Carl’s pic was a winner in the Marine Photobank’s 2010 Photo Contest. The 2011 contest is open for entries – check it out if you have a great shot you’d like to share with the world.