Animal Species:Banded Morwong, Cheilodactylus spectabilis (Hutton, 1872)
The species name comes from the Latin word spectabilis, which means notable or showy. This name presumably refers to the striking banded pattern of the species.
The Banded Morwong can be recognised by its distinctive pattern of seven or eight broad dark coloured bands. Many species of Morwongs (family Cheilodactylidae) are known to have distinctly elongated pectoral fin rays. The pectoral rays of the Banded Morwong however are only slightly elongated.
It grows to a maximum length of about 1 m.
The species is most abundant in Tasmania and New Zealand. It is not often seen in south eastern mainland Australia so the photographer was surprised to see it in 8 m of water at Shark Point, Sydney, New South Wales.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The Banded Morwong lives in marine waters down to a depth of 50 m.
- Brown, R.W. 1956. Composition of Scientific Words. R. W. Brown. Pp. 882.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F, J.C.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology