Animal Species:Opah, Lampris guttatus (Brunnich, 1788)

The Opah is a distictively shaped spotted fish that lives worldwide in oceanic waters.

Standard Common Name

Opah

Alternative Name/s

The species has also been called Spotted Moonfish and Opal Fish.

Identification

The Opah is a deep-bodied, compressed fish. It is deep blue on the back grading to a lighter blue or silver on the belly. The body is covered with white spots and the fins are a vibrant red.

Size range

Opahs grow to over 1.5 m in length and can weigh over 70 kg.

Distribution

The species has a worldwide oceanic distribution. In Australia it is known from off northern New South Wales, around the south of the country including Tasmania, to south-western 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.

Lampris guttatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Opah specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is a mid-water species which lives at depths between 100 m and 400 m.

Feeding and Diet

The species eats other fishes and squids.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The Opah is warm blooded.  Watch the video above to learn more.

Classification

Species:
guttatus
Genus:
Lampris
Family:
Lampridae
Order:
Lampridiformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Glover, C.J.M. 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. 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. Wheeler, A. 1975. Fishes of the World. An Illustrated Dictionary. Ferndale Editions. Pp.366.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Opah, Lampris guttatus, Lamprididae, odd-shaped, pelagic, Spotted Moonfish, Opal Fish, deep body, compressed body, blue, white spots, dots/spots, red fins, > 1m, marine,