This red moki (Cheilodactylus spectabilis) was photographed at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve north of Gisborne. The species is found mainly in northern New Zealand waters. They spend a lot of time in caves and crevices, only venturing into the open to feed. Their distinctive vertical bars help to camouflage them amongst vertical kelp strands. They have a varied diet, eating almost any animal on the sea floor or among the seaweed. The red moki belongs to the same family as the tarakihi, the Cheilodactylidae.
Using this item
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Jamie Quirk
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