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Encyclopedia > Kurtidae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Kurtidae

Kurtus gulliveria
Kurtus indicus

The nurseryfishes or forehead brooders are a family (Kurtidae) of fish that are notable for carrying their egg clusters on hooks protruding from the forehead (supraoccipital) of the males. The family consists of just two species in the single genus Kurtus.

In addition to the egg hook, the kurtid gas bladder is enclosed in a tubular bony structure evolved from the ribs. In both species the back is elevated into a hump shape.

The nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveria (Castelnau, 1878), occurs in mangrove swamps, estuaries and slow-moving turbid rivers of Australia and New Guinea. It can grow to 63 cm.

The Indian hump head, Kurtus indicus (Bloch, 1786) is found in marine waters from India's Coromandel Coast to Borneo. It is known to reach only 12.6 cm in length.

Despite their unusual reproductive habits, little is known about these species; they do not survive long in aquaria. Tim Berra of Ohio State University has published several papers.

External links

  • FishBase info for Kurtidae (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/FamilySummary.cfm?ID=411)
  • Berra research on nurseryfish (http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~tberra/futres.htm)

  Results from FactBites:
Dr. Tim M. Berra (315 words)
Observation of egg carrying by male nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveri (Perciformes: Kurtidae), and natural history notes from northern Australia.
Gross anatomy and histology of the hook and skin of forehead brooding male nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveri, from northern Australia.
Alimentary canal anatomy and diet of the nurseryfish, Kurtus gulliveri (Perciformes: Kurtidae), from the Northern Territory of Australia.
  More results at FactBites »



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