Animal Species:John Dory, Zeus faber Linnaeus, 1758

The John Dory is a distinctively compressed, silvery fish with a black 'thumbprint' on the side of the body. The common name, St Peter's fish, refers to the biblical story in which Peter brings a fish to Jesus.

Standard Common Name

John Dory

Alternative Name/s

St Peter's fish, Doorkeeper's Fish, Keparu

Identification

The John Dory has a highly compressed head and body. It has a large oblique mouth and bucklers on the second dorsal and anal fin bases. The species is dark brown as juveniles and silvery as adults. There is a large dark grey blotch ringed with white on the side of the body.

Size range

The species grows to 66 cm in length.

Distribution

The species is known from temperate marine waters of the Eastern Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it occurs in depths of 1 m to 150 m from southern Queensland, around the south of the country and north to the central coast of 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.

Zeus faber

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of John Dory specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Economic/social impacts

It is a highly regarded table fish and fetches high market prices.

Classification

Species:
faber
Genus:
Zeus
Family:
Zeidae
Order:
Zeiformes
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. Bray, D.J. 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.
  6. Whitley, G.P. 1966. Marine Fishes of Australia. Vol. 1. Jackaranda Press. Pp. 142.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags John Dory, Zeus faber, Zeidae, Fishes, Ichthyology, silver, black thumbprint, St Peter's fish, Doorkeeper's Fish, Keparu, compressed head, compressed body, 30 cm - 1 m, temperate water, marine,