sue-ant-otterwatch's picture

Gourmet Otter Meal

Observed: 29th December 2012 By: sue-ant-otterwatch

Please can anyone identify this fish. We think it's a Gurnard of some sort. We had the great honour of watching this otter on a scottish sea loch shore. After photographing him for some 20 mins we decided to video his next haul onto shore. How fortunate were we. The video is amazing but we have no actual photographs, so we paused the video and have taken a pic of the pc screen - hence the poor quality. Any info regarding our exciting adventure would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


sue-ant-otterwatch's picture

Bull rout/ Short-spined Sea Scorpion (Myoxocephalus scorpius)

Thanks Nightfly. Since you posted I have googled Bull rout/Short-spined Sea Scorpion and have found some images almost identical to mine except the colouring. I have read the bellies of these fish can be extremely bright white, orange and red, especially in breeding males. Breeding season is Dec to March, so I think my fish may have been a male exhibiting breeding colours. They also puff themselves up when they're in an aggressive state. Very interesting. Thank you.

nightfly's picture

Hi Sue,Its a beautiful

Hi Sue,

Its a beautiful specimen, probably one of the most ornate fish in our waters. Yeah you are probably right re the male in spawning garb. I encounter the smaller relative Taurulus bubalis much more often and they do the defensive 'puffing up' behaviour also. It makes them a lot more spikey and possibly harder to swallow or tackle in general. It would be great to get to appreciate that fish and its colouration in the hand. The otter seems determined to eat it anyway.


trudy-russell's picture

excellent observation!

excellent observation!

Trudy Russell
Marine Advisor
Natural England

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