Animal Species:Australian Burrfish, Allomycterus pilatus Whitley, 1931
The Australian Burrfish has a rounded body that is covered with stout blade-like spines. It occurs in temperate marine waters from central New South Wales to Western Australia, including Tasmania.
An Australian Burrfish trawled during the NORFANZ expedition
Photographer: Robin McPhee © NORFANZ Founding Parties
Standard Common Name
The Australian Burrfish has a rounded body that is covered with stout blade-like spines. It has rounded dorsal, anal and caudal fins. Its pectoral fins have indented posterior margins.
Two forms of the species are recognised. A shallow-water form has scattered dark spots dorsally. The deep-water form has yellow blotches on the sides.
The species grows to about 50 cm in length.
The Australian Burrfish occurs in temperate marine waters from central New South Wales to Western Australia, including Tasmania. It is also known from some seamounts on the Norfolk Ridge, Tasman Sea.
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 species is known from as shallow as 5 m in estuaries to at least 320 m in offshore waters, where it is sometimes caught in the nets of trawlers.
- Gomon, M.F. 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. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Leis, J.M. 2006. Nomenclature and distribution of the species of the porcupinefish family Diodontidae (Pisces, Teleostei). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 63(1): 77–90.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow