John Dory (Zeus japonicus), known to the Maoris as kuparu, is a related fish to the European species from which, according to legend, St. Peter is credited with obtaining the tribute money. The finger- and thumb-print markings on the sides of these fishes were, to the credulous, irrefutable evidence of the truth of the legend. John Dory is a food fish of good quality and flavour and is frequently seen in the fish markets, especially in Auckland. It grows to about 18 in. in length and feeds largely on small fishes and shrimps which it engulfs by a sudden camera-bellows-like extension of the mouth. It makes curious grunting noises when captured.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.