Animal Species:Crested Morwong, Cheilodactylus vestitus (Castelnau, 1878)

It occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Western Pacific, usually seen on shallow, sheltered coastal and estuarine reefs.

A Crested Morwong at Fly Point Marine Reserve

David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Crested Morwong

Alternative Name/s

Magpie Morwong

Identification

The Crested Morwong can be recognised by the dark stripe, which crosses from the spiny part of the dorsal fin to the lower lobe of the caudal fin. There are pairs of knob-like protrusions in front of the eyes and above the upper lip. The dorsal fin is tall anteriorly, then decreases in height over the next four spines, with the rest of the fin being long-based and low.

Size range

The Crested Morwong grows to about 35 cm in length.

Similar Species

A similar-looking species, the Magpie Morwong, Cheilodactylus gibbosus, occurs in Western Australia.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Western Pacific.

In Australia it is known from southern Queensland to the central coast of 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.

Cheilodactylus vestitus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Crested Morwong specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is usually seen on shallow, sheltered coastal and estuarine reefs.

Feeding and Diet

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Other behaviours and adaptations

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Communication

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Life cycle

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Mating and reproduction

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Predators, Parasites and Diseases

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Conservation Status

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Fossils

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Economic/social impacts

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Management

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Danger to humans and first aid

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Classification

Species:
vestitus
Genus:
Cheilodactylus
Family:
Cheilodactylidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

Further Reading

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References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Crested Morwong, Cheilodactylus vestitus, blue, green, yellow, brown, odd-shaped, 30 cm - 1 m, stripes or bands, esturaine reef, shallow water, marine, adult,