Animal Species:Australian Burrfish, Allomycterus pilatus Whitley, 1931

The Australian Burrfish has a rounded body that is covered with stout blade-like spines. It occurs in temperate marine waters from central New South Wales to Western Australia, including Tasmania.

An Australian Burrfish trawled during the NORFANZ expedition

Robin McPhee © NORFANZ Founding Parties

Standard Common Name

Australian Burrfish

Identification

The Australian Burrfish has a rounded body that is covered with stout blade-like spines. It has rounded dorsal, anal and caudal fins. Its pectoral fins have indented posterior margins.

Two forms of the species are recognised. A shallow-water form has scattered dark spots dorsally. The deep-water form has yellow blotches on the sides.

Size range

The species grows to about 50 cm in length.

Distribution

The Australian Burrfish occurs in temperate marine waters from central New South Wales to Western Australia, including Tasmania. It is also known from some seamounts on the Norfolk Ridge, Tasman Sea.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Allomycterus pilatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Australian Burrfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is known from as shallow as 5 m in estuaries to at least 320 m in offshore waters, where it is sometimes caught in the nets of trawlers.

Classification

Species:
pilatus
Genus:
Allomycterus
Family:
Diodontidae
Order:
Tetraodontiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. in Gomon, M.F, Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  4. Leis, J.M. 2006. Nomenclature and distribution of the species of the porcupinefish family Diodontidae (Pisces, Teleostei). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1): 77–90.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Australian Burrfish, Allomycterus pilatus, Diodontidae, white, brown, yellow, round, 30 cm - 1 m, blotches/mottled, temperate waters, marine, adult,