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Jackass morwong

The Tarakihi or Jackass morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus, is a morwong of the genus Nemadactylus found off the coast of southern Australia, the Atlantic coast of South America, and all around New Zealand to depths of about 1312.34 ft (400 m). Its length is between 11.81 and 23.62 in (30 and 60 cm).

The Tarakihi is similar to the Porae but with a silver body color and a distinctive black saddle immediately behind the head. Their diet is similar to that of the Porae but also with a wide range of invertebrates.

They gather in large aggregations on the outer continental shelves to spawn in late summer and autumn. The mass of fertilized eggs then form part of the plankton, developing into pelagic larvae that remain in open water for 7 to 10 months. At this stage they are dark grey above, bright red on the flanks, and silvery below but lack the black saddle of the adult. Post larval stage, they settle to the bottom and change to the adult coloration.

Tarakihi are an important commercial fishing species, taken by bottom trawling, and are also sought after by anglers. Large specimens of 11.02 or 13.23 lb (5 or 6 kg) are sometimes caught over rock pinnacles in deep water.

Jackass morwong


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