Animal Species:Grey Morwong, Nemadactylus douglasii (Hector, 1875)

The Grey Morwong is a good eating fish, found in commercial quantities. It can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape.

Grey Morwong, Nemadactylus douglasii

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Grey Morwong

Alternative Name/s

Blue Morwong, Butterfish, Douglas Morwong, Eastern Blue Morwong, Great Perch, Lubra-lip, Mowie, Porae, Rubberlip Morwong, Rubberlip Perch, Silver Morwong

Identification

The Grey Morwong can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape. It is silvery blue, with the upper surface sometimes tinted yellow or brown. The median fins are blue.

Size range

The species grows to 81 cm in length.

Distribution

The Grey Morwong is recorded from southern Queensland to Tasmania and also from New Zealand.

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.

Nemadactylus douglasii

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Grey Morwong specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is usually seen by divers over sand near rocky reefs.

Other behaviours and adaptations

During the day Grey Morwongs are sometimes seen propped up off the bottom on their long pectoral fin rays. They have been seen using the elongate pectoral fin rays to flick settling parasites off the body.

Economic/social impacts

The Grey Morwong schools in commercial quantities at depths around 100 m. It is a good eating species that is often caught on hook and line.

Classification

Species:
douglasii
Genus:
Nemadactylus
Family:
Cheilodactylidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life; the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Nemadactylus douglasii, Grey Morwong, Cheilodactylidae, silver, blue, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, countershaded, rocky reef, marine, adult,