Animal Species:Rock Blackfish, Girella elevata (Macleay 1881)
Adult Rock Blackfish are uniformly blue-black. The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.
Standard Common Name
The Rock Blackfish has also been called the Black Drummer, Eastern Rock Blackfish and ‘Pig’, for the sounds it makes when landed by anglers.
Juvenile Rock Blackfish are generally a dark-brown colour. Adults are uniformly blue-black.
The species grows to about 60 cm in length and a weight of 7kg.
In Australia, it occurs from southern Queensland to north-eastern Tasmania, plus Lord Howe Island. It is also recorded from New Zealand.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Juvenile Rock Blackfish are found in rockpools, estuaries and shallow rocky reef areas. Adults prefer exposed rocky reef areas from the surf zone to depths of around 25 m. Divers often see this species in caves or under ledges.
This fish is a popular angling species. It is valued for its fighting ability and eating qualities.
- Kuiter, R.H. 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- 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. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology