Animal Species:Whitley’s Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta whitleyi Eschmeyer & Poss, 1976
Whitley’s Gurnard Perch has large eyes, a large oblique mouth and groove behind the eyes. The species is endemic to the east coast of Australia.
Standard Common Name
Whitley’s Gurnard Perch
Whitley’s Gurnard Perch has large eyes, a large oblique mouth and groove behind the eyes. It can be recognised by a combination of characters that include a lack of reticulated colour pattern on the body and 19 to 22 pectoral fin rays. There are 40 to 47 scales in the longitudinal series and 25 to 28 pored lateral line scales. The nasal spines have 3 to 12 spinous points on the anterior margin. The caudal fins of preserved specimens usually have three or four narrow irregular vertical bands.
The species is named in honour of Gilbert Whitley, Fish Curator at the Australian Museum for 42 years (1922-1964).
The species grows to 7 cm in length.
Whitley’s Gurnard Perch has previously been confused with Southern Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta meridianus. The species can be separated by different caudal fin markings (in preserved specimens) and nasal spine morphology. For additional differences, see Motomura et al (2006).
The species is endemic to the east coast of Australia, occurring from southern Queensland to north-eastern Victoria.
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
The species is usually found at a depth of 41 m - 82 m.
- 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.
- Motomura, H., Last, P.R. & M.F. Gomon. 2006. A New species of the Scorpionfish Genus Maxillicosta from the Southeast Coast of Australia, with a Redescription of M. whitleyi (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae). Copeia 3: 445-459.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology