Animal Species:Opah, Lampris guttatus (Brunnich, 1788)

The Opah is a distictively shaped spotted fish that lives worldwide in oceanic waters.

Opah, Lampris guttatus

Ken Graham © Ken Graham NSW DPI

Standard Common Name

Opah

Alternative Name/s

The species has also been called Spotted Moonfish and Opal Fish.

Identification

The Opah is a deep-bodied, compressed fish. It is deep blue on the back grading to a lighter blue or silver on the belly. The body is covered with white spots and the fins are a vibrant red.

Size range

Opahs grow to over 1.5 m in length and can weigh over 70 kg.

Distribution

The species has a worldwide oceanic distribution. In Australia it is known from off northern New South Wales, around the south of the country including Tasmania, 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.

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Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Opah specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is a mid-water species which lives at depths between 100 m and 400 m.

Feeding and Diet

The species eats other fishes and squids.

Classification

Species:
guttatus
Genus:
Lampris
Family:
Lampridae
Order:
Lampridiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  • Glover, C.J.M. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  • Wheeler, A. 1975. Fishes of the World. An Illustrated Dictionary. Ferndale Editions. Pp.366.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Opah, Lampris guttatus, Lamprididae, odd-shaped, pelagic, Spotted Moonfish, Opal Fish, deep body, compressed body, blue, white spots, dots/spots, red fins, > 1m, marine,