Expedition blogs and news from the Shallow Marine Surveys Group

The amazing Tile Fish Piles


By Simon Morley


One of my main jobs this year is to finish the assessment of the animals that live within the tile fish piles. There is a fish at Ascension, called the sand tile fish that builds mounds out of rubble and lumps of calcified algae. They live off the end of the larva flows on fairly flat gravel bottoms. So, to attract their females, the males pile up the pebbles and cobbles to form a mound. This mound has a tunnel underneath which acts as a nest hole for fish that successfully attract a female. On a flat fairly featureless seabed the piles are an oasis of living space for many small marine invertebrates and therefore provide an important boost to the local diversity. We are investigating what lives in these piles and finding some really neat crabs, shrimps and even a few sea slugs that we rarely see elsewhere.


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Latest Comments

Dave John Hunting seaweeds around Ascension
31 August 2013
Great to see underwater photos of this very unusual submarine environment where the ubiquitous black...
Helen Marsh Team Member Stedson Stroud
03 July 2013
Great to hear more about Stedsons work, and how he got started, having met him on Ascension Island l...
Simon Plummer Volunteer Ecological Surveyors
10 June 2013
I can’t stop smiling thinking of what a brilliant time you are having. The fact that I can visualise...
Simon Plummer Black triggerfish anecdotes
10 June 2013
An enjoyable and funny read, thank you steve for making me chuckle.
Simon Plummer Ascension Island fish record
10 June 2013
The photos are brilliant, envious.


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