Animal Species:Harlequin Fish, Othos dentex (Cuvier, 1828)

The Harlequin Fish has bright blue spots on the head and upper sides. The species is only known from southern Australian waters.

Harlequin Fish, Othos dentex

Sascha Schulz © Sascha Schulz

Standard Common Name

Harlequin Fish

Alternative Name/s

Chinese Lantern, Harlequin Rock Cod, Tiger Cod

Identification

The Harlequin Fish has a relatively slender elongate body. Its background colour can be red, orange, yellow or brown. It has bright blue spots on the head and upper sides. There is a large red blotch on the side that is covered by the pectoral fin.

This species looks similar to the tropical Coral Trouts but can be separated by the large yellow to greenish spots on the lower sides.

Size range

The species grows to at least 76 cm in length.

Distribution

The Harlequin Fish is endemic to Australia, occurring from the central coast of Victoria to south-western Western Australia.

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

Othos dentex

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Harlequin Fish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species occurs on rocky reefs in inshore waters.

Classification

Species:
dentex
Genus:
Othos
Family:
Serranidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  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.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Harlequin Fish, Othos dentex, Serranidae, dots/spots, bright blue spots, Chinese Lantern, Harlequin Rock Cod, Tiger Cod, elongate body, red, orange, yellow, brown, large red blotch, 30 cm - 1 m, endemic to Australia, rocky reef, inshore water, marine,