Visual census, photographic records and the trial of a video network provide first evidence of the elusive Sicyopterus cynocephalus in Australia

Ebner B.C., Donaldson J.A., Allen G.R., Keith P.

Published date: June 2017
Volume: 41
Number: 2
Pagination: 117-125
Publisher: Société Française d'Ichtyologie

Opportunistic encounters with an elusive large-bodied sicydiine goby in a single plunge pool led us to photograph and deploy three video cameras to detect individuals in that pool. Subsequently, a catchment-wide search indicated that the species, eventually identified as Sicyopterus cynocephalus, was confined to the single pool where it was originally detected. A network of ten video cameras was then deployed to estimate the number of individuals of that species and of a congener, S. lagocephalus, by non-destructive means. This study provides the first record of S. cynocephalus in Australia, and showcases the synergy of active snorkel searches and a remote camera network in counting individuals of two sympatric species of Sicyopterus.

Keywords: Australia - Coastal stream - Elusive species - First record - Gobiidae - Sicyopterus cynocephalus - Underwater video - Visual census
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