Animal Species:Eastern Kelpfish, Chironemus marmoratus (Günther, 1860)
The Eastern Kelpfish has a pointed snout and a small mouth. The species occurs in shallow, often intertidal waters of eastern Australia and New Zealand.
Standard Common Name
Smallscale Kelpfish, Hiwihiwi, Kelpfish, Large Kelpfish, Surgefish
The Eastern Kelpfish has a pointed snout and a small mouth. It has large pectoral fins with branched rays above and thickened unbranched rays below. The species is grey, brown, green or pinkish with large dark blotches on the body. There are numerous small white spots on the body and fins.
The species grows to 40 cm in length.
The species occurs in south-eastern Australia from southern Queensland to northern Tasmania and eastern Victoria. It is also known from New Zealand.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The Eastern Kelpfish lives in shallow marine waters between the intertidal zone and about 20 m. It is usually found in areas of high wave action or currents.
Feeding and Diet
Kelpfishes eat invertebrates.
- Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
- 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.
- Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology