Animal Species:Finger Dragonet, Dactylopus dactylopus (Valenciennes, 1837)
The Finger Dragonet is the only species of Dactylopus known from Australian waters.
Standard Common Name
The species can be recognised by its large fan-like pelvic fins with a leading detatched first ray.
It occurs in the Indo-west Pacific region. In Australia it is known from tropical and some temperate waters from south-western Western Australia to northern New South Wales.
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
Sandy and weedy seabeds.
Feeding and Diet
Watch a Finger Dragonet feeding on brine shrimp.
- Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
- 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.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology