Red gurnard (Chelidonichthys kumu), or kumu-kumu of the Maoris, is easily recognised by its parchment-like side fins, which resemble wings, and the curious fingerlike processes associated with these fins. The fingers are used to grope about the sea bottom in search of crustaceans and other animal food. The gurnard grows up to 20 in. in length, but the usual size is 13–15 in. It is largely reddish brown, but the winglike fins are dark green relieved by sky blue spots and bright red rays. It is a good food fish and occurs abundantly in most parts of New Zealand, except in the extreme south.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.