Animal Species:Magpie Perch, Cheilodactylus nigripes, Richardson, 1850

The Magpie Perch isn't related to Magpies or to the true Perches. It belongs to the family Cheilodactylidae, also known as the Morwongs.

Magpie Perch at Tathra Wharf

Sascha Schulz © Sascha Schulz

Standard Common Name

Magpie Perch

Alternative Name/s

Black-striped Morwong, Magpie Morwong

Identification

The species has a pale head and body with three dark bands, the central band usually the darkest. Interestingly, the fish can "turn off" the central band almost instantly, dramatically changing its colour pattern.

Size range

The Magpie Morwong grows to a length of over 40 cm

Distribution

The species is found in temperate marine wates from Albany in Western Australia to Kiama in New South Wales. It is also found in Tasmania.

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 nigripes

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Magpie Perch specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Classification

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

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
  2. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Hutchins, B. & M. Thompson. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 103.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
    Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & F.H. Talbot. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Pp. 563.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Sascha Schulz
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Magpie Perch, Cheilodactylus nigripes, Cheilodactylidae, Perciformes, black, white, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult, brown tail,