T. bernacchii are one of the most commonly caught species of fish in McMurdo Sound. They are primarily benthic, and, like most fish in the Antarctic, live at temperatures of -1.86C. We usually catch them at 70-100 feet deep (with hook and line), however they have been found in depths of >700m. The sizes of the bernies we have been catching are 40g-300g (>200g are usually gravid) with lengths of 15-25cm.
These fish are often dark or pinkish in color, with dark blotches or wide stripes. There are three morphs of T. bernacchii: some exhibit a white patch on their collar/back of head area, some have three white stripes, and some have no distinguishable markings.
We have also been catching a number of gravid bernies. Spawning takes place around December-January, at a time when we do not have access to the sea ice in McMurdo. Pictured left are a number of gravid females, taken December 2010.
T. pennellii (formerly T. centronotus) has been a more common benthic species for us this season than in previous seasons as well. The ones we've been catching this season are small: 10-15cm, 20-50g, caught at about 70-100 feet. They have the typical trematomid shape, but are most easily identified by the bright white flecks exhibited on their head and body.
G. acuticeps, or locally known as dragonfish, have a "snout" that comes to a sharp point, with an underbite and sharp small teeth. Last season, we caught zero dragonfish, however, this season, we have already caught five and are hoping for more. The dragonfish we have caught at depths of 70 feet range from 55-105 cm long, and weigh 15-25g.
see also: The Underwater Field Guide to Ross Island and McMurdo Sound, Antarctica