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Photographic survey of benthos provides insights into the Antarctic fish fauna from the Marguerite Bay slope and the Amundsen Sea

  • Joseph T. Eastman (a1), Margaret O. Amsler (a2), Richard B. Aronson (a3), Sven Thatje (a4), James B. McClintock (a2), Stephanie C. Vos (a3), Jeffrey W. Kaeli (a5), Hanumant Singh (a5) and Mario La Mesa (a6)...


We reviewed photographic images of fishes from depths of 381–2282 m in Marguerite Bay and 405–2007 m in the Amundsen Sea. Marguerite Bay fishes were 33% notothenioids and 67% non-notothenioids. Channichthyids (47%) and nototheniids (44%) were the most abundant notothenioids. The deep-living channichthyid Chionobathyscus dewitti (74%) and the nototheniid genus Trematomus (66%) were the most abundant taxa within these two families. The most abundant non-notothenioids were the macrourid Macrourus whitsoni (72%) and zoarcids (18%). Amundsen Sea fishes were 87% notothenioids and 13% non-notothenioids, the latter exclusively Macrourus whitsoni. Bathydraconids (38%) and artedidraconids (30%) were the most abundant notothenioids. We observed that Macrourus whitsoni was benthopelagic and benthic and infested by large ectoparasitic copepods. Juvenile (42 cm) Dissostichus mawsoni was not neutrally buoyant and resided on the substrate at 1277 m. Lepidonotothen squamifrons was seen near and on nests of eggs in early December. A Pogonophryne sp. from 2127 m was not a member of the deep-living unspotted P. albipinna group. Chionobathyscus dewitti inhabited the water column as well as the substrate. The pelagic zoarcid Melanostigma gelatinosum was documented in the water column a few metres above the substrate. The zoogeographic character of the Marguerite Bay fauna was West Antarctic or low-Antarctic and the Amundsen Sea was East Antarctic or high-Antarctic.


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This paper is dedicated to the memory of Rebecca Dickhut. Her management skills and boundless energy as co-chief scientist of our Oden cruise made it possible for us to capture the images of Amundsen Sea fauna highlighted here.



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