FISHWRECKAPEDIA

FISHWRECKAPEDIA - A fish identification resource for Fishwrecked.com members. 

All images (unless otherwise noted) are from the Fishwrecked.com photo galleries, contributed to by over 45,000 Fishwrecked.com members.  

Fishwrecked.com is based in Western Australia, therefore the majority of fish images are local and are described using names common to Western Australia.

 

Page 1:  Trevally, Pennant Fish, Mackerel, Emperor/Lethrinus, Lutjanus, Remora, Black Snoek, Snake Mackerel, Gemfish, Common Silverbiddy, Bream (by common name), Javelin Fish, Dolphinfish, Cobia, Rainbow Runner, Finny Scad, Morwong, Queen Snapper, Jewfish, Mulloway, Kingfish, Amberjack, Samsonfish, Tuna

Page 2:  Rockcod and Cod (by common name), Chinaman Fish, Trout (by common name), Harlequin, Herring, Threadfin, Sweetlips, Western Foxfish, Blackspot Pigfish, Black Rabbitfish, Flutemouth, Pike, Snook, Barracouta, Longtom, Flathead, Triggerfish, Queenfish, Banded Archerfish, Boarfish, Jawfish, John Dory, Trumpeter, Sergeant Baker, Gobbleguts, Scaleyfin, Fusilier, Flounder

Page 3:   Gulf Saratoga, Dart, Sand Bass, Perch (by common name), Sooty Grunter, Jobfish, Snapper (by common name), Nannygai, Swallowtail, Wrasse, Parrotfish, Tuskfish, Baldchin Groper, Barracuda, Wahoo, Bonito, Leatherjacket, Western Rock Blackfish, Hapuku, Groper, Blue-eyed Trevalla, Barramundi Cod, Breaksea Cod, Tailor, Western Butterfish, Silverspot, Boxfish, Barred Soapfish, Orange Roughy, Tripletail, Rock Ling, Giant Sea Catfish, Cobbler, Sweep, Yellow tail Scad, Whiting

Page 4:  Weeping Toadfish/Blowfish, Norwest Blowie, Gurnard, Western Fortescue, Western Red Scorpionfish, Red Lionfish, Bluespine Unicornfish, Western Blue Devilfish, Barramundi, Western Frogfish, Wirrah, Rainbow Cale, Zebrafish, Murray Cod, Dhufish, Northern Pearl Perch, White Sturgeon, Slinger Seabream, Grinner, Bonefish, Tarpon, Mullet, Batfish, Convict Surgeonfish, Western Striped Cardinalfish, Shaw's Cowfish, Stripey, Moonlighter, Slender Seamoth, Knifejaw, Scissortail Sergeant, Southern Sea Garfish, Longtom, Frostfish, Goatfish, Marlin, Shortbill Spearfish, Sailfish, Bullseye, Silver Moony, Salmon

 

 

Bibliography:  www.fish.wa.gov.auwww.australianmuseum.net.auwww.efishalbum.comwww.wikipedia.comwww.aims.gov.au, www.fishbase.org,  Australian Fish and How to Catch Them (Richard Allan ISBN 1-863026746), Field Guide to Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South East Asia (Gerald R. Allen ISBN 9781920843397), Sea Fishes of Southern Australia (Barry Hutchins, Roger Swainston ISBN 1-875169-78-4), The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia, A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers (Gerald R. Allen, Roger Swainston ISBN 0 7309 2113 1), Grant's Fishes of Australia (E.M. Grant ISBN 0 7316 0234 X), Field Guide to Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-East Asia (Gerald R. Allen ISBN 978-1-910843-39-7).

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Weeping Toadfish - Torquigener pleurogramma

Wed, 2011-05-04 02:36

Also known as Banded Toadfish and Common Blowfish, Weeping Toadfish are named because of the distinguishing vertical 'tear line' bands under the eye.  They are olive green with a lacework pattern of brown and a single dark brown stripe from the pectoral fin to the tail base.  They can inflate their abdomen with air or water and small rough spikelets are extended.  They have fused beak-like teeth.

Weeping Toadfish grow to 22cms in length.

They are toxic to humans and pets and must not be eaten.  The toxins are strongest in the skin and internal organs, especially the liver.

Weeping Toadfish are found from Coral Bay Western Australia, around the southern coast to Adelaide South Australia and then from Narooma NSW north to Hervey Bay Queensland.  They are common in estuaries and coastal bays.

 

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Nor'west Blowie - Lagocephalus scleratus

Wed, 2011-05-04 02:39

Nor'west Blowies have a torpedo shaped body with a silver stripe down the side, a greenish back with black spots, and a large concave tail fin.  There is a silver blotch in front of the eye and the pectoral base is black.  They have soft skin instead of scales and are best known for their strong fused beak-like teeth which are capable of biting through hooks.

Nor'west Blowies grow to 7kgs and 110cms in length.

They are highly poisonous and should never be eaten.

Nor'west Blowies are generally found in all Australian waters except the south eastern coast and inhabit offshore reefs in depths from 18 - 100 metres.

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Butterfly Gurnard - Lepidotrigla vanessa

Sat, 2011-05-07 01:20

Butterfly Gurnard are often confused with Sharp Beaked Gurnard and Red Gurnard (see entries below).  The identifying differences are the colours and shape of the pectoral fins and the two distinctive spines on the snout of the Sharp Beaked Gurnard.  The three lower rays of the pectoral fins are thickened and free from the rest of the fin, and used for walking over the bottom probing for food.

Butterfly Gurnard have a large bony head and a bony rostrum on the snout with a very small median notch with tiny spines.  They are sandy with reddish bands and blotches and often turn red on capture.  The greenish pectoral fins are round with bright blue spots and margins, and a roundish black blotch with a bright blue margin and scattered blue spots inside. 

Butterfly Gurnard have been measured at 41cms in length. 

They are considered good eating and need to be skinned but are most often too small to be worth the effort.  They are valued for aquariums. 

Butterfly Gurnard are found from Rottnest Island Western Australia, south around to northern Victoria, offshore in sand and silt habitats, usually in depths of 20 - 100 metres.

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Sharp Beaked Gurnard - Pterygotrigla polyommata

Sat, 2011-05-07 01:20

Also known as Latchet, Sharp Beaked Gurnard differ from Butterfly Gurnard by two long spines on the end of the snout, and the pectoral fin colour.  Their body colour is sandy with pale red blotches which change to red on capture.  The first dorsal fin is bright pink.  The pectoral fins are circular with a blue base colour with yellow spots and two small black shapes close to the base of the pectoral fin. 

Sharp Beaked Gurnard grow to around 2kgs and 57cms. 

They are very good eating if skinned, if the size warrants the effort. 

Sharp Beaked Gurnard are found from Rottnest Western Australia, around the southern coast then north to southern Queensland.

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Red Gurnard - Chelidenichthys kumu

Sat, 2011-05-07 01:23

Red Gurnard are slender fish with a large bony head and blunt snout.  They are sandy coloured with irregular red vertical bands and fan-like pectoral fins which have a green base colour with bright blue spots and a bright blue top edge margin.  There is a large black blotch with scattered white spots near the base.  The pectoral fins are large and more elongated than round.  The first three rays of the pectoral fin are free and act as fingers for detection of food.

Red Gurnard grow to 2kgs and 50cms. 

They are well regarded table fish. 

Red Gurnard are found from Shark Bay Western Australia, south around southern waters then north to southern Great Barrier Reef Queensland, including Tasmania.  They are usually found on soft bottoms in offshore waters in depths of 2 - 200 metres.

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Gurnard Perch - Neosebastus pandus

Thu, 2011-05-26 00:48

Gurnard Perch have a relatively large, rounded head and slender body which base colour varies from pale olive green to dark brown with cream, the belly area generally being orange - red.  Small black spots are often present on the head and body.  They have a large spotted pectoral fin reaching past the start of the anal fin. The third dorsal spine is the longest - a diagnostic tool. 

Juveniles have two vertical black bands on their tail fin.  Older fish have small black spots. 

Gurnard Perch grow to 45cms in length. 

The flesh is very good eating however care must be taken as the 13 dorsal fin spines are venomous, causing severe pain.

They are found from the Abrolhos Islands WA south around to Kangaroo Island South Australia. 

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Gulf Gurnard Perch - Neosebastes bougainvillii

Thu, 2011-05-26 00:48

Gulf Gurnard Perch vary through white to pink to reddish brown, usually with a large dark blotch on the body above the pectoral fin that extends into the spinous dorsal fin.  There are smaller dark blotches towards the back of the body and fins, and often orange spots on the belly.  They have a hump backed appearance with the head profile rising steeply behind the eyes.  The long dorsal fin spines are separated by deeply incised membranes and there are numerous spines and ridges on the head.  A distinguishing feature is the absence of a large black blotch on the soft rayed portion of the dorsal fin. 

Gulf Gurnard Perch grow to about 40cms in length. 

They can be eaten but filleted with care as the dorsal fin spines are venomous. 

Gulf Gurnard Perch are found from the Abrolhos Western Australia, south around to Kangaroo Island South Australia. 

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Western Fortescue - Centropogon latifrons

Thu, 2011-05-26 00:49

Western Fortescue have a creamy body with distinct brown vertical bands.  The tail may also have dark bands and there is a chevron (V) shaped brown band at the caudal fin base.  The lateral line is nearly straight.  The dorsal spines are prominent.  They are sometimes confused with gurnard perch.

Western Fortescue are known to grow to 23cms in length however there is little recorded information. 

They are popular in the aquarium industry.  The dorsal spines are venomous causing intense pain, whether the fish is alive or dead. 

Western Fortescue are found from Kalbarri Western Australia, south to Kangaroo Island South Australia in coastal seagrass beds where they eat crustaceans and small fish.  A similar species, Eastern Fortescue (Centropogon australis) occurs from Queensland to southern New South Wales. 

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Western Red Scorpionfish - Scorpaena sumptuosa

Thu, 2011-05-26 00:49

Western Red Scorpionfish have a deep body and can be bright red, red/brown or light brown with darker blotches and markings. There may be a black spot at the end of the first dorsal fin. They have 12 venomous dorsal spines which cause painful wounds, severity depending on the size of the fish and the depth of penetration. 

Western Red Scorpionfish grow to about 40cms. 

They are considered very good eating however caution is advised. 

Western Red Scorpionfish are endemic to Western Australia, from Esperance to Quobba. 

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Red Lionfish - Pterois volitans

Thu, 2011-05-26 00:53

Also known as Butterfly Cod, Volitans Lionfish and Red Firefish, Red Lionfish have a cream body striped vertically with irregular red to brown bands.  The dorsal fin is banded yellow and brown.  The soft dorsal, anal and caudal fins have parallel rows of darker brown spots.  The pectoral fins are comprised of 14 rays and are free of any connective membrane away from their base.  Adults often have white spots along the lateral line.  A tentacle, which may be leaf-like in adults and long in juveniles, is usually present above both eyes.  

Red Lionfish grow to 40cms in length. 

A sting from any of the venomous dorsal or anal spines can lead to sudden and intense pain and possible breathing difficulties.  Immediate treatment is to soak the sting in hot water, followed by medical treatment.  The pectoral and caudal fins are not toxic because they lack spines.  When approached underwater, they make little effort to swim away but point their dorsal fin spines towards the intruder. 

Red Lionfish are found from Fremantle Western Australia around the tropical north, and south to northern New South Wales. 

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Bluespine Unicornfish - Naso unicornis

Thu, 2011-05-26 02:03

Bluespine Unicornfish are greenish/grey with yellowish dorsal and anal fins with thin blue lines.   There is a bony horn projecting from the forehead and two blue plates with knife-like spines on either side of the caudal peduncle.  The tail has a white margin and elongated filaments.

Bluespine Unicornfish grow to 70cms in length. 

They are average eating. 

In Australia, Bluespine Unicornfish are found from south-west to north-west Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef south to northern New South Wales. 

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Western Blue Devilfish - Paraplesiops sinclairi

Mon, 2011-07-04 01:17

Similar to Southern Blue Devilfish (Paraplesiops meleagris) found on the east coast, Western Blue Devilfish are dark blue to grey with many brilliant iridescent blue spots which become more pronounced with age.  The body is moderately long, the head is bluntly rounded with a large mouth.  The elongated dorsal, anal and pelvic fins have a pale blue margin.  Adult fish have a pattern of markings on the lower part of the gill cover.

Western Blue Devilfish grow to 1.2kgs and 35cms in length.

They are popular aquarium fish. 

Western Blue Devilfish are endemic to Western Australia and found from the Recherche Archipelago to Lancelinin in rocky reef habitats in coastal, inshore waters.

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Barramundi - Lates Calcarifer

Wed, 2011-07-06 01:06

Barramundi are elongate-oval shaped fish generally coloured blue to greenish/grey with silver sides and white belly, although their colour depends on their habitat.  They have a small pointed head with a concave forehead, a large jaw and large pink eyes which glow bright red in torchlight or sunlight.  The gill covers have saw toothed trailing edges.  The caudal fin is rounded and powerful and the first dorsal fin has 7-8 strong spines and a second soft rayed dorsal fin of 10-11 rays.  The scales are large.

Estuarine Barramundi are grey/green with a bronze tint on the dorsal and silver on the sides.  The dorsal, anal and caudal fins are golden.

Freshwater Barramundi are darker generally with dark grey dorsal, anal and caudal fins and pale pectoral and ventral fins. 

Juveniles are mottled brown with a distinctive white stripe down the forehead between the eyes.  All fish start out as males and after spawinng once or twice, become female for the rest of their lives. 

Barramundi grow to 60kgs and 1.2metres in length. 

Small saltwater barramundi are excellent eating, and are considered better eating than river Barramundi. 

In Australia, Barramundi are found from Shark Bay Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Mary and Maroochy River systems in southern Queensland.

Platinum barramundi. 

True albinos have red eyes because they totally lack all black pigmentation while leucistic fish retain enough pigment for their eyes to have dark coloration.

http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Fisheries/index.cfm?header=NT%20Fish%20-%20Barramundi  excellent information on Barramundi

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Western Frogfish - Batrachomoeus occidentalis

Wed, 2011-07-06 01:16

Western Frogfish are brown to olive with a broad, flat head and tapered body to the tail.  They have distinct dark cross bars on their sides and broad stripes across the soft dorsal and anal fins.  The first dorsal fin consists of two or three strong sharp spines.  The pectoral fins are lightly spotted.  They are distinguished by the gill slit extending along the entire pectoral fin base.

Western Frogfish grow to 20cms in length. 

Western Frogfish are endemic to Western Australia and found from Rottnest Island to Dampier Archipelago.  They are bottom dwellers, ranging from shallow inshore areas to deep waters.

Onslow

Shark Bay

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Western Wirrah - Acanthistius serratus

Mon, 2011-07-11 02:07

Western Wirrah are deep bodied fish varying in colour from pale yellow to olive green/brown with darker brown broad bars or blotches.  There may be irregular dark spots scattered all over the body including the head, although sometimes these can be indistinct.  There may be a blue/green tinge to the fins.  There are two distinctive broad dark bars behind the eye. 

Western Wirrah grow to 2.77kgs and 50cms in length. 

They are considered very poor eating (also known as Rottnest Boot).

Western Wirrah are found from Kalbarri Western Australia, south around to Ceduna South Australia on exposed coral reefs. 

Albany

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Leopard Wirrah - Acanthistius pardalotus

Mon, 2011-07-11 02:07

Leopard Wirrah are a relatively new species of serranid fish (1981-Hutchins).  Leopard Wirrah vary in colour from pale greenish grey, silvery grey, dark brown and pale brown, with many irregular dark spots and often with darker large blotches.  There may be two to three dark lines radiating from behind the eye.  They have 13 dorsal fin spines.

Leopard Wirrah grow up to 2.7kgs and 52cms in length.

They are not recommended eating. 

Leopard Wirrah are only found in Western Australia, from Cape Leeuwin north to Coral Bay and are reasonably common. 

 

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Eastern Wirrah - Acanthistius ocellatus

Mon, 2011-07-11 02:08

Eastern Wirrah are a dark green to olive fish with brown-edged blue spots scattered all over the body and fins.  The spots turn dark brown after death. They have a large mouth, rounded body and thick skin. There are 13 spines in the first dorsal fin and the tail fin is edged in pale blue. 

Eastern Wirrah grow up to 64cms.

They are considered very poor eating. 

In Australia, Eastern Wirrah are common in NSW but can be found from southern Queensland south to Victoria and Tasmania. 

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Rainbow Cale - Odax acroptilus

Mon, 2011-07-11 02:08

Also known as Marine Rainbowfish, Rainbow Cale are greenish with distinctive black patch side colouration with blue spots and iridescent blue lines on the head.  Females are equally as eye-catching with yellow/green to red-brown bodies and typical dark side markings.  Rainbow Cale are Odacid fish, which means that teeth in both jaws have serrated edges and are fused into a parrot-like beak.  In the males, the first dorsal fins spines are elongate.

Rainbow Cale grow to 30cms in length.

They are sought after for the aquarium trade.

Rainbow Cale are endemic to southern Australia and found from central Western Australia, around southern waters to the central coast of New South Wales, including the northern coast of Tasmania.

Esperance

Fremantle

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Zebrafish - Girella zebra

Mon, 2011-08-01 01:17

Also known as Stripey Bream and often confused with Luderick (Girella Tricuspidata) which are not found in Western Australia, Zebrafish are silvery grey with nine or ten vertically tapering dark bars which are diagnostic.  The fins are yellow to brownish/olive.  They have a long based dorsal fin and a large forked caudal fin.   Zebrafish are plant eaters with a small mouth with two rows of teeth. 

Juveniles are darker with less distinct bars. 

Zebrafish grow to 3.6kgs and 54cms in length. 

They are considered average eating, needing to be bled and cleaned on capture. 

Zebrafish are endemic to Australia, found from Jurien Bay Western Australia, around the south to Sydney New South Wales, including north eastern Tasmania.

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Murray Cod - Maccullochella peelii

Mon, 2011-08-01 01:18

Not a true Cod, the native Murray Cod is the largest exclusively freshwater fish in Australia and one of the largest in the world. Their body is deep and elongated with a broad, concave head and large mouth lined with small needle like teeth. Murray Cod have a yellow/green back overlaid with darker green which creates a mottled or marbled effect. Their belly is cream coloured. Their colour is more intense in fish from clear water and smaller fish have distinct colouration whereas larger fish are more speckled. The soft dorsal, anal and tail fins are all large and rounded with distinct white edges. 

The record Murray Cod is 113kgs weight and 1.8 metres length. 

Large Murray Cod are fatty and oily but smaller mature fish have white and well flavoured flesh. 

Murray Cod are endemic to Australia, found in the Murray-Darling River drainage in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. 

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Dhufish - Glaucosoma Hebraicum

Mon, 2011-08-08 01:16

Dhufish have a silvery grey solid body with purple/bronze reflections on their back and a vertical black stripe (chevron) through a very large eye. They have a very large mouth. The dorsal fin lays backwards and males can be distinguished from females by an elongated filament on the dorsal fin.  The tail is broad and square.  

Juvenile dhufish have about six horizontal black stripes which disappear as they grow. 

Dhufish grow to 30kgs and 1.2metres in length although 8-10kgs is a usual catch. 

They are excellent eating, often considered the finest tablefish. 

Dhufish are endemic to Western Australia, found from Shark Bay south to the Recherche Archipelago. 

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Northern Pearl Perch - Glaucosoma buergeri

Mon, 2011-08-08 01:16

Also known as the Deepsea or Northern Dhufish, Northern Pearl Perch have a bright silvery appearance. They have a dark vertical band which passes through the eye but may disappear with an increase in size.  The mouth and eyes are large.  There is a single dorsal fin which is elevated on the rear portion with a black spot underneath.

Juveniles can have narrow horizontal stripes which disappear with age. 

Northern Pearl Perch grow to 2.5kgs and 45cms in length. 

They are considered excellent eating. 

In Australia, Northern Pearl Perch are found from Shark Bay Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Great Barrier Reef Queensland. 

juvenile

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White Sturgeon - Acipenser transmontanus

Sun, 2011-09-11 01:06

North America's largest freshwater fish, White Sturgeon are cylindrical and long grey, pale olive or grey/brown fish with a white belly.  The fins are dusky grey.  There are no scales but large bony scutes which serve as a form of armour.  They have four barbels close to the snout, used for sensing food.  The mouth is toothless.  Sturgeon are classed as bony fish but are cartilaginous like sharks and have changed very little since they first appeared over 175 million years and have the appearance of very ancient fish.

White Sturgeon grow to 816kg and 6.1 metres in length.

White Sturgeon are found along the west coast of North America, from the Aleutian Islands Alaska to Baja, central California.

Fraser River, British Columbia Canada

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Slinger Seabream - Chrysoblephus puniceus

Sun, 2011-09-11 01:06

Slinger Seabream are deep bodied pink fish with a distinct blue bar under the eye.  There are iridescent blue spots on the body and the tail has an orange tinge.  They have a steep forehead and a small mouth.

Slinger Seabream grow to 85cms in length.

They are an important food fish.

Slinger Seabream are endemic to the western Indian Ocean, Mozambique and Madagascar to South Africa, in offshore reefs from 20 - 100m in depth.

Durban South Africa

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Large-scaled Grinner - Saurida undosquamis

Sun, 2011-09-11 01:07

Also known as Brushtooth Lizard, Large-scaled Grinner are elongated, sandy brown in the dorsal area with speckled with white spots and a cream belly.  There are 8 - 10 indistinct dark spots along the middle of the side and a row of dark spots on the upper lobe of the caudal fin.  They are distinguished by the size of the scales.   They have many sharp teeth in both jaws which are visible when the mouth is closed.

Large-scaled Grinner grow to 63cms in length.

They are considered average eating.

In Australia, Large-scaled Grinner are found from north-west Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to central New South Wales, and also in south-west Western Australia.

 

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Painted Grinner - Trachinocephalus myops

Sun, 2011-09-11 02:32

Also known as Painted Lizardfish, Bluntnose Lizardfish and Snakefish, Painted Grinner are long and slender with alternating narrow dark-edged pale blue and yellow stripes.  There is an oblique black spot at the upper end of the operculum.  The snout is very short and the mouth is oblique with numerous fine sharp teeth.  The eye is far forward.  There is a short-based first dorsal fin followed by a small adipose dorsal fin and the caudal fin is deeply forked.

They grow to 66cms in length.

Painted Grinner are considered average eating.  They are popular in the aquarium trade.

In Australia they are found from Fremantle Western Australia, around the tropical north to southern New South Wales, over sandy bottoms where they burrow themselves leaving only their eyes exposed.

 

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Bonefish - Albula forsteri

Mon, 2011-09-26 00:52

Bonefish are long, slender silver fish with a bluish/green dorsal area and grey fins.   They are recognised by their protruding snout and underslung lower jaw.  They have a single dorsal fin and a deeply forked tail. 

Bonefish grow to 70cms in length. 

They are very poor eating due to a number of small bones. 

In Australia, they are found from Shark Bay Western Australia around the tropical north to southern Queensland. 

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Tarpon - Megalops cyprinoides

Mon, 2011-09-26 00:52

Properly known as Oxeye Herring, locally called Tarpon are elongated silver fish with a blue green dorsal area.   Their distinguishing feature is the long trailing filament at the rear of the single dorsal fin.  The eye is very large and the lower jaw projects beyond the snout.  The tail is deeply forked and the scales are very large. 

Tarpon grow to 3.5kgs and 1.5 metres in length. 

They are considered poor eating due to numerous bones. 

Tarpon are found from Onslow Western Australia around the tropical north, then south to Sydney New South Wales.  They are commonly found in mangrove creeks, larger estuaries and bays. 

Far north Queensland

Darwin NT

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Diamondscale Mullet - Liza vaigiensis

Mon, 2011-09-26 00:53

Diamondscale Mullet are silvery grey with black scale margins, creating diamond shapes.  They have a broad head, large scales and a truncate (square) caudal fin. 

Juveniles have black pectoral fins. 

Diamondscale Mullet grow to 5.5kgs and 55cms in length. 

They are good eating, oily, moist and with a strong flavour. 

In Australia, Diamondscale Mullet are found from central Western Australia, around the tropical north, then south to northern New South Wales. 

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Sea Mullet - Mugil cephalus

Mon, 2011-09-26 00:54

Also known as River Mullet and Mullet, Sea Mullet vary in colour according to their habitat.  In the ocean, Sea Mullet are silver with blue/green backs and in rivers and estuaries, they are silver with brown backs, and often with a number of faint brownish lines extending the length of the body.  There is a small dark spot at the base of the pectoral fin.  They have a flat head, large 'jelly' eyes and fleshy lips. 

Sea Mullet grow up to 4kgs and 70cms in length. 

Sea Mullet are rich in Omega 3, are oily and have a high fat content with a strong fishy flavour.  The raw flesh is pinkish grey, and flakes easily after cooking.  They are excellent smoked.  Mullet roe is sought after either fresh, dried or smoked. 

Sea Mullet are found throughout all coastal areas of Australia, in the sea, estuaries and occasionally freshwater.   Spawning occurs at sea and the fry move back into estuaries. 

Murchison

 

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Yellow-eye Mullet - Aldrichetta forsteri

Mon, 2011-09-26 00:58

Also known as Pilch, Yellow-eye Mullet are olive green on the upper back and silver on the sides.  The eyes are bright yellow or golden.  The fins have fine brown margins.  The head and large mouth are more pointed than Sea Mullet and their eyes lack fatty eyelids.  The dorsal fins are widely separated, the first with 4 spines, the second with 1 spine and 9 rays.  The caudal fin is slightly forked.  There is no dark spot at the base of the pectoral fin, which the sea mullet has.

Yellow-eye Mullet grow to 1kg and 50cms in length.

They are rich in omega 3 with oily flesh and are good eating.  They are good smoked.

In Australia, Yellow-eye Mullet are found from central Western Australia, around the southern coast to southern New South Wales, including Tasmania.

 

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Shortfin Batfish - Zabidius novemaculeatus

Sat, 2011-10-15 01:53

Shortfin Batfish are round-shaped silver fish with faint horizontal lines between scale rows.  There is a brown band from the top of the head through the eye to the chest which fades with growth.  There is also a less distinct curved dark band from the nape across the operculum and pectoral fin base to the belly.  The median fins are dusky with darker margins.  There is a slight bump between the eyes and five pores on each side of the lower jaw.  There are 9 dorsal spines.

They grow to 1kg and 45cms in length.

Shortfin Batfish are considered average eating.

In Australia, they are found from North West Cape Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Great Barrier Reef Queensland, inhabiting coastal reefs. 


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Teira Batfish - Platax teira

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:18

Confusingly also known as Longfin, Tailfin or Roundface Batfish, Teira Batfish are round and compressed yellowish, silver or dusky fish with a dark bar through the eye and another dark bar just behind the head.  There is another smaller dark vertical streak at the start of the anal fin.  The median fins are yellowish with black margins posteriorly and the pelvic fins are black.  Larger fish have a concave profile with a bony swelling between the eyes.   

Juveniles have long anal and dorsal fins that become much shorter as the fish matures.

They grow to 60cms in length.

Teira Batfish are considered average eating.  They are sought after for the aquarium trade.

In Australia, Teira Batfish are found from Shark Bay Western Australia around the tropical north to the southern New South Wales.

 

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Convict Surgeonfish - Acanthurus triostegus

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:22

Also known as Convict Tang, Convict Surgeonfish are compressed, whitish yellow to pale green-grey fish with six dark brown to black vertical stripes, including one through each eye and one on the caudal peduncle.  The belly area is white.  There is a sharp forward pointing spine on each side of the caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove. 

They grow to 27cms in length.

Convict Surgeonfish are popular for the aquarium trade.

In Australia, Convict Surgeonfish are found from Rottnest Island Western Australia, around the tropical north, then south to Sydney New South Wales, usually in large schools and inhabiting coral and rocky reefs.

 

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Western-striped Cardinalfish - Apogon victoriae

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:28

Western-striped Cardinalfish have broad brownish-red stripes with an extra stripe on the front body between the second and third stripes.  There is a distinct black spot at the base of the pectoral fin and a large black spot at the base of the tail on the caudal peduncle.  The fins are pink to coppery red.  The mouth is large and the male incubates fertilised eggs in his mouth.

They grow to 14cms in length.

Western-striped Cardinalfish are popular in the aquarium trade.

Western-striped Cardinalfish are endemic to Western Australia, found from Cape Leeuwin to Shark Bay.

Dongara

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Shaw's Cowfish - Aracana aurita

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:35

Shaw's Cowfish males are dominantly coloured yellow and blue stripes and may have large brown areas on the upper 2/3rds body and purplish spots in the belly area.  Horizontal stripes run over the snout and along the mid lateral line to the caudal peduncle.  The caudal fin is large and fan like, with a broad yellow margin.  The female has much larger stripes coloured dark browns, orange and cream and which are almost horizontal around the snout area.  There are brownish spots on the orange belly area.  Both male and female have a backward directed spine above the eye.

Small juveniles are shaped like a little ball with dark spots.

They grow to 25cms in length.

Shaw's Cowfish flesh is poisonous.  They are not suitable for aquariums.

In Australia, Shaw's Cowfish are found from Dongara Western Australia, around the southern coast to southern New South Wales, including Tasmania, in protected reef and seagrass.

female

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Stripey - Microcanthus strigatus

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:38

Stripey are compressed white to yellow bodied fish with distinct slanting black horizontal stripes from the head to the caudal peduncle.  The caudal fin is dark and the pectoral, anal and pelvic fins are yellow.   

They grow to 16cms in length.

In Australia, Stripey are found from Exmouth Gulf to Cape Leeuwin Western Australia and southern Queensland to southern New South Wales, inhabiting rocky and coral reefs in protected coastal and estuarine waters.

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Moonlighter - Tilodon sexfasciatus

Sat, 2011-10-15 02:51

Moonlighter are rounded fish with six broad black vertical bands on a white base, including a small band at the base of the tail.  There is yellow colouration on the upper body near the base of the dorsal fin. 

Juveniles are identified by a more pointed nose and two black ocelli (eye) edged in white, one located on the base of the dorsal fin and one on the base of the anal fin.

They grow to 40cms in length.

In Australia, Moonlighter are found from Jurien Bay, Western Australia, round the southern coast to Port Phillip Victoria, on coastal and offshore reefs.



 

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Slender Seamoth - Pegasus volitans

Sat, 2011-10-15 03:04

Also known as Longtail Seamoth, Slender Seamoth are light brown or olive to dark brown with a paler belly.  They have a flattened head and tapered body covered by a bony skeleton of rigid plates.  The tail is enclosed in bony rings.  The white tipped snout is long and made up of modified nose bones and there is a small mouth under the snout.  They have large pectoral fins which are spread out like wings.  Slender Seamoths are adapted to walk over the bottom using their pelvic fins. 

Juvenile Slender Seamoths are sometimes black.

They grow to 18cms in length.

Slender Seamoths have commercial value for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In Australia Slender Seamoths are found from Fremantle Western Australia around the tropical north, then south to Sydney New South Wales, inhabiting sand or silt bottoms of bays and estuaries. 

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Knifejaw - Oplegnathus woodwardi

Mon, 2011-11-21 00:48

Knifejaw are silver bodied with five dark vertical bands, the first running through the eye and the last through the caudal peduncle.  There is a dark circular spot on the dorsal and anal fins.  They can be recognised by their fused teeth which form a parrot-like beak. The pectoral, dorsal and tail fins are pale yellow. 

Juveniles lack the dark circular blotches on the dorsal and anal fin. 

Knifejaw grow to 48cms. 

They are considered average eating. 

Knifejaw are found from Quobba in Western Australia, south around to the central coast of New South Wales. 

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Scissortail Sergeant - Abudefduf sexfasciatus

Mon, 2011-11-21 00:58

Also known as Six-banded Sergeant Major, Scissortail Sergeant are silvery blue to green with six (including one over the eye) broad black vertical bars across the body.  There is a horizontal black stripe in each of the scissorlike tail lobes. 

They grow to 18cms in length.

Scissortail Sergeant are found from Rottnest Island Western Australia around the tropical north to Queensland, then south to Merimbula New South Wales, on protected coastal and estuarine reefs. 

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Southern Sea Garfish - Hyporhamphus melanochir

Mon, 2011-11-21 01:11

Southern Sea Garfish are slender silver fish with a more bluish than green back.  There is a silvery ribbon running the length of the body and three brown lines along the upper body from the pectoral fins to the tail.  The elongated lower jaw and tail often have a red tinge. 

Southern Garfish grow to 52cms. 

They are good eating but often used for bait. 

Southern Sea Garfish are found in Australian temperate waters from Lancelin Western Australia, around the southern coast to Eden NSW, including Tasmania.  

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Crocodile Longtom - Tylosurus crocodilis

Mon, 2011-11-21 01:38

Crocodile Longtom are long slender fish with a dark blue back and silver-white sides.  There is a distinct keel on the caudal peduncle which distinguishes this longtom from others.   The caudal fin is deeply forked. 

Crocodile Longtom grow to 1.5 metres. 

They can be eaten but are full of small bones.

In Australia, Crocodile Longtom are found from north west Western Australia around the tropical north then south to New South Wales. 

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Slender Longtom - Strongylura leiura

Mon, 2011-11-21 01:40

Slender Longtom are bluish green to pale brownish/green with a distinctive black bar on the cheek.  They have elongate jaws and a long slender shape.  There is no lateral keel on the caudal peduncle. 

Slender Longtom grow to 1 metre in length. 

They can be eaten but are full of small bones. 

In Australia, Slender Longtom are found from north west Western Australia round the tropical north to the Great Barrier Reef Queensland. 

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Frostfish - Lepidopus caudatus

Tue, 2011-12-27 01:06

Also known as Ribbonfish and related to Hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus), Frostfish have a long, thin silver ribbonlike body, a full length dorsal fin and differs from the Hairtail in that Frostfish have a distinctive forked caudal fin. Frostfish are devoid of scales and the skin is easily damaged and rubs off easily if roughly handled.  There is one long lateral line.  The upper jaw has fang-like teeth.

Frostfish grow to 4kgs and 2 metres. 

The flesh is white with a delicate texture and is considered excellent eating. 

In Australia, Frostfish are found south from Shark Bay Western Australia, around southern waters and then north to southern Queensland. 

note forked tail

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Yellow Striped Goatfish - Parupeneus chrysopleuron

Sun, 2012-02-26 02:39

Yellow striped goatfish are moderately elongated and compressed fish with a steeply sloping forehead, a small mouth and two slender white to pale yellow barbels which usually lay flat against their chins.  These act like tongues and stir the sand and small fish.  Yellow striped Goatfish are pale orange-reddish fading to bluish grey or silvery white, the scale edges are red with a yellow stripe from the eye to the base of the caudal fin just above the lateral line.  The stripe may be red in fish from deep water.  Fins are light orange to red  There are two well separated dorsal fins, the first high and triangular and the second longer and more rounded. 

Yellow Striped Goatfish grow to 55 cms in length.

They are average eating.

In Australia, Yellow Striped Goatfish are found from Geographe Bay north around the tropical north then south to southern New South wales. living on sandy, muddy open substrates and maybe restricted to deep water.

caught in 40 metres.

 

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Black-spot Goatfish - Parupeneus spilurus/signatus

Sun, 2012-02-26 02:49

Black-spot Goatfish are brownish to red colour with two darker stripes along the sides of their body and a conspicuous black spot on top of the wrist of the tail.  There is a purplish tinge in the tail and body of larger fish.  They have characteristic barbels attached to the lower jaw which are used to detect food.

Juveniles have two stripes but are more yellow in colour than adults. 

Black-spot Goatfish grow to 1.3kgs and 50cms. 

They are considered very good eating. 

Black-spot Goatfish are found from Geographe Bay Western Australia, north around to Queensland, then south to NSW and Victoria. 

juvenile

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Bluespotted Goatfish - Upeneichthys vlamingii

Sun, 2012-02-26 03:38

Also known as Red Mullet, Bluespotted Goatfish vary greatly in colour from juvenile to adult and according to sex, time of day and the fish's level of excitement.  Adults are red, yellow and orange with a darkish midlateral stripe that runs the length of their body.  They have blue spots and lines which are sometimes difficult to see as the fish changes colour according to environment or mood.  Courting males are pink with a yellow dorsal fin and bright blue markings on the fins.   There are two barbels which extend from the chin, and lay flat against their bodies.  They have small eyes and a small mouth with fleshy lips.  There are two dorsal fins, the first being taller and with a shorter base than the second soft-rayed fin.  Bluespotted Goatfish are often called for Bluestriped Goatfish, however Bluestriped Goatfish are an eastern states species.

Juveniles have a pale lower body and sandy brown upper body, separated by a thick black midlateral line.  As they turn into adults, the grey turns to orange and they develop small blue stripes over the face and spots over the body and fins.  The midlateral line fades in prominence. 

Bluespotted Goatfish grow to 42 cms in length.

They are considered good to eat.

Bluespotted Goatfish are found in the temperate waters of southern Western Australia around to southern New South Wales, including Tasmania.

courting male, Cockburn Sound

Busselton

 

 

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Striped Marlin - Tetrapturus audax

Sun, 2012-02-26 04:12

Striped marlin are purple-blue in colour in the dorsal area and silvery-white on the sides.  There are 12 to 16 light blue vertical bars along the body, which stripes remain after death.  Striped Marlin have a more slender body, a longer lower jaw and the thinnest bill of all marlin species.   The high pointed dorsal fin equals or exceeds the depth of the body and the pectoral fins can be folded flush against the body.  They have a clearly visible lateral line which distinguishes them from Blue Marlin, where the lateral line is almost invisible. 

Striped Marlin grow to 200kgs and 4.2 metres in length.

In Australia, Striped Marlin are found in tropical to temperate waters off all Australian states, including Tasmania.  They are a true oceanic species that prefer to inhabit cooler water than either the Blue Marlin (Makaira mazara) or Black Marlin (Makaira indica).  In Western Australia, they are found from Broome to Perth and the South Coast.

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Blue Marlin - Makaira mazara

Tue, 2012-06-12 08:21

Blue Marlin are elongated cobalt blue fish with silvery white sides and belly and about 15 vertical pale blue bars along the side of the body which fade after death.  There are two dorsal fins, the height of the first less than the greatest body depth.  The membrane of the first dorsal fin is blue black with dark spots.  They have a non-rigid pectoral fin that can be folded against the body.  The bill is long, stout and pointed.   The caudal peduncle has strong double keels on each side and a shallow notch on both the dorsal and ventral surfaces.

Blue Marlin are distinguished from Black Marlin by the non-rigid pectoral fin and the blue bars along the body.  Blue Marlin are distinguished from Striped Marlin by the height of the dorsal fin, which in a Striped Marlin is the same height as its body depth.

Blue Marlin grow to 5 metres in length.  Females can weigh more than 900kgs while males only reach a weight of around 170kgs.

In Australia, the pelagic Blue Marlin have the most tropical distribution.  They are found through western and eastern Australian waters in waters more than 100 metres deep.  Depending on the warmth of the ocean currents, they may be found as far south as Tasmania.

The Indian/Pacific Blue Marlin, Makaira mazara and the Atlantic Blue Marlin, Makaira nigricans are considered as two distinct species, chiefly because of differences in the pattern of the lateral line system.

 

http://www.bluemarlin3.com/tbf/anatomy-bluemarlin.php

 

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Black Marlin - Makaira Indica

Tue, 2012-06-12 08:23

Black Marlin have a steel blue to purple body with purple/mauve reflections and a whitish belly. The head is humped and its spear is thicker than that of blue and striped marlins. They have rigid curved pectoral fins which cannot be laid next to the body and two dorsal fins, two anal fins, a lunate shaped tail and two strong keels on the tail peduncle. The dorsal fin is low and rounded (about the body depth) and the anal fin is a replica of the front part of the dorsal, low and rounded. There are no identifying marks on the skin of the Black Marlin. 

Black Marlin are distinguished from blue and striped marlin by the body depth being greater than the height of the first dorsal fin, and the second dorsal fin beginning slightly forward of the second anal fin. 

Black Marlin grow to 5metres in length and over 700kg. The Australian all-tackle record (1988) is 654.08kgs. 

Catch and release. 

Black Marlin are found in all Australian marine waters. 

Diagram from www.aims.gov.au

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Shortbill Spearfish - Tetrapturus angustirostris

Sun, 2012-07-29 01:32

Shortbill Spearfish are very elongated, compressed fish which are dark blue on the upper back, and silvery white laterally and ventrally. There may be scattered pale brown blotches under the dark blue dorsal area.  The dorsal fin is dark blue at the front with a mottling of dark blue and brown at the back.  The pectoral fins are short and black and the pelvic fins are also black but longer than the pectoral fins.  The anal fins are whitish with a darker border.  The bill is very short, just longer than the lower jaw.  They mature at two years old and rarely live past three years, the maximum age being five years. 

Shortbill Spearfish grow to 52kgs and 2 metres in length.

They have soft, pink mild flavoured flesh.

Shortbill Spearfish are found throughout deeper waters of the east Indian Ocean from Cape Leeuwin north and the Pacific Ocean, Queensland to southern New South Wales.  They are surface feeders eating small or medium fish and squid and are pelagic.

Rottnest Island

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Sailfish - Istiophorus platypterus

Sun, 2012-07-29 02:50

Sailfish have a compressed, often iridescent dark blue upper body and silver below.  There are around 20 vertical bars on the sides of the body made up of bright blue spots.  Sailfish are recognised by a magnificent blue and purple sail-like dorsal fin which fits into a groove when lowered. The shorter median dorsal rays are longer than the body is deep and the ventral rays rays are very long and extend almost to the anus. The upper jaw is elongated into a slender spear and is more than twice the length of the lower jaw.  The lateral line is curved above the pectoral fin and then straight to the base of the tail.

Sailfish grow up to 100kgs and over 3.5 metres in length. 

Catch and release. 

Sailfish are widely distributed in the tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. 

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Longfinned Bullseye - Cookeolus Japonicus

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:18

Longfinned Bullseye (sometimes Longfinned Bigeye) are reddish to reddish yellow coloured fish with very long, dusky dorsal, anal and ventral fins.  They have an upturned mouth, a large red eye and rough scales.

Longfinned Bullseye grow to 5kgs and 69 cms in length.

In Australia, Longfinned Bullseye are found from south Western Australi, north around northern Australia, then south Victoria, on rocky bottoms.

Jurien Bay

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Rough Bullseye - Pempheris klunzingeri

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:19

Rough Bullseye have a deep compressed body which varies from pink-brown to dark orange-brown and is covered in small ctenoid scales which are rough to touch. The leading edge of the dorsal fin and margins of the anal and caudal fins are black. There is an orange bar at the rear of the head. The lateral line is yellow or brown. The eye is very large and the mouth is large and obliquely angled. 

Rough bullseye grow to 21 cms in length. 

Rough Bullseye are endemic to Australia, being found from Shark Bay Western Australia, south around to eastern South Australia. 

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Smallscale Bullseye - Pempheris compressa

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:21

Smallscale Bullseye are shiny silver-brown with a dusky bar behind the head.  They have a very big eye and a large oblique mouth.  The lateral line is yellow and the front margin of the dorsal fin is sometimes black. 

Smallscale Bullseye grow to 20cms in length. 

They are recorded as being found from central New South Wales south around to south west Western Australia. 

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Silver Moony - Monodactylus argenteus

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:40

Also known as Silver Batfish and Diamondfish, Silver Moony are bright silver, diamond shaped fish.  The big eyes are crossed with a dark ray.  The fins are dusky yellow with a very fine black margin on the dorsal and anal fins.

Juveniles are more colourful with yellow over most of the dorsal fin and two vertical black rays, one through the eye and the other from the top of its body to the opercules.

Silvery Moony grow to 27 cms in length.

They are very popular in the aquarium trade.

In Australia, Silver Moony are widely distributed around the Australian coastline, found inshore around wharfs and rocky headlands.

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Beach Salmon - Leptobrama muelleri

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:49

Also known as Steelback, Beach Salmon (sometimes Leptobrama mulleri) are an elongate but deep bodied silver fish.  There is a distinctive black tip to the dorsal fin, which begins towards the anterior of the body.  The pectoral fin is tinged with yellow and the dorsal and caudal fins are yellow.  The eye is large.

Beach Salmon grow to 38 cms in length.

Beach Salmon are not regarded well as table fish, however they are considered a good sports fish.

In Australia, Beach Salmon are found from North West Cape in Western Australia, around the northern coast to the south end of the Great Barrier Reef, close to shore along beaches and in estuaries.

Port Hedland

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West Australian Salmon - Arripis truttaceus

Mon, 2013-01-14 05:57

West Australian adult salmon have an elongate streamlined green to steely blue body with yellow/grey spots and a silver belly.  They have a pointed nose, large mouth and small yellow eyes.  There can be a yellow tinge on the sides and the fins are grey, the pectoral fins being tinged with yellow and the tail is deeply forked. 

Juvenile salmon are often referred to as salmon trout and can be confused with adult herring.  Juveniles are silvery white, smooth scaled and have several rows of brown  spots on their back and sides.  Herring have black tips on their tail and their body feels rough (Tommy Rough) to the touch while salmon feel smooth. 

West Australian Salmon reach 9kgs and 96cms in length. 

Eating quality is debatable.  Generally good for curry or mornay.  They are good smoked.  

West Australian Salmon are found from Kalbarri WA, south around the coast to Lakes Entrance Victoria.