Environment Park Subotopic Layout
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Senator Wrasse (Pictilabrus laticlavius)
Inquisitive and active, the Senator Wrasse is one of the most beautiful kelp forest residents of the park. These carnivorous fish hunt small animals including snails, amphipods and crabs. The bright green males and reddish females can be seen busily slipping in and out of the kelp fronds.
During the spring breeding season, the male Senator Wrasse become territorial and you can see them swimming above the kelp, fins erect. Females release millions of eggs above the kelp and if these are successfully fertilised by the male, juveniles will float in the ocean current for two to three weeks. Few survive this experience.
Cowrie Snail (Cypraea comptoni)
Beautiful, shy and elusive, cowrie snails can be found on reefs in the park feeding on sponges living on the underside of rocks. The snail can draw its skin-like mantle over its distinctive shell and the colour of the mantle assists with camouflage. At only 25 millimetres in length, this is one of the smaller cowries of the 77 found in Australian waters. It lays its eggs in a depression in the rocks and then protects them until they hatch by 'sitting' on them.