Animal Species:Southern Blue Devil, Paraplesiops meleagris (Peters, 1869)

The Southern Blue Devil is a cave dwelling fish, found along the southern Australian coastline.

A Southern Blue Devil at the wreck of the HMAS Swan

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Southern Blue Devil

Alternative Name/s

Blue Devilfish, Bluedevil, Western Blue Devil

Identification

The Southern Blue Devil can be recognised by the bright blue spots on its dark blue/brown body, and large anal and pelvic fins.

Size range

It grows to about 35 cm.

Distribution

The species occurs along the southern Australian coastline, from eastern Victoria to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands in 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.

Paraplesiops meleagris

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Southern Blue Devil specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

These fish prefers deep cave systems and ledges, which may be inhabited by several individuals ranging from small juveniles to mature adults. They can be found in depths of 3 m to over 40 m.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on fishes and crustaceans.

Mating and reproduction

Members of the genus Paraplesiops lay eggs onto the substrate.  These are guarded by the male until hatching.

Conservation Status

The species is not protected.

Classification

Species:
meleagris
Genus:
Parapelsiops
Subfamily:
Plesiopinae
Family:
Plesiopidae
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.


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

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Southern Blue Devil, Paraplesiops meleagris, Plesiopidae, cave, Blue Devilfish, Bluedevil, Western Blue Devil, dots/spots, blue spots, dark body, blue, brown, 30 cm - 1 m, deepsea, marine,