Animal Species:Sea Sweep, Scorpis aequipinnis Richardson, 1848

The Sea Sweep is grey, often with a tinge of blue, green, or sometimes brown. The belly is silvery. It is a schooling species that is seen in small aggregations to large schools often feeding on plankton.

Sea Sweep at Rapid Bay Jetty, South Australia

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Sea Sweep

Alternative Name/s

Maomao, Silver Sweep, Snapjack, Sweep

Identification

The Sea Sweep has a deep compressed body that is covered with tiny ctenoid scales. The dorsal and anal fins both have a prominent raised lobe. It has a large forked caudal fin and small pectoral fins. The species is grey, often with a tinge of blue, green, or sometimes brown. The belly is silvery. There are two indistinct dusky bands on the upper sides.

Size range

The species grows to 61 cm in length.

Similar Species

Silver Sweep, Scorpis lineolata, but this species has long-based dorsal and anal fins that lack prominent lobes.

Distribution

In Australia the species is known from the southern coast of New South Wales, 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. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Scorpis aequipinnis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Sea Sweep specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Sea Sweep is found on rocky reefs in coastal waters. It is a schooling species that is seen in small aggregations to large schools often feeding on plankton, well above the seabed.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on plankton.

Classification

Species:
aequipinnis
Genus:
Scorpis
Family:
Kyphosidae
Order:
Perciforomes
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. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. 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
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Sea Sweep, Scorpis aequipinnis, Kyphosidae, silver, blue, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, countershaded, marine, adult,