Animal Species:Rock Blackfish, Girella elevata (Macleay 1881)

Adult Rock Blackfish are uniformly blue-black. The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.

Standard Common Name

Rock Blackfish

Alternative Name/s

The Rock Blackfish has also been called the Black Drummer, Eastern Rock Blackfish and ‘Pig’, for the sounds it makes when landed by anglers.

Identification

Juvenile Rock Blackfish are generally a dark-brown colour. Adults are uniformly blue-black.

Size range

The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.

Distribution

In Australia, it occurs from southern Queensland to north-eastern Tasmania, plus Lord Howe Island. It is also recorded from New Zealand.

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

Girella elevata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Rock Blackfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

Juvenile Rock Blackfish are found in rockpools, estuaries and shallow rocky reef areas. Adults prefer exposed rocky reef areas from the surf zone to depths of around 25 m. Divers often see this species in caves or under ledges.

Economic/social impacts

This fish is a popular angling species. It is valued for its fighting ability and eating qualities.

Classification

Species:
elevata
Genus:
Girella
Family:
Girellidae
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 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.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. 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.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Rock Blackfish, Girella elevata, rocky, reef, black, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, no pattern, marine, \dult, adult, Kyphosidae, brown, fishes,