Animal Species:Bandfish, Cepola australis Ogilby, 1899
The Bandfish is a very long slender fish that lives in a burrow in soft sediments. The species is only known from Australian waters.
Standard Common Name
The Bandfish has a very long slender body with tiny cycloid scales that are mostly embedded. Its long-based dorsal and anal fins are continuous with the pointed caudal fin. It has large eyes and a large oblique mouth. The small teeth form a single row in each jaw with an additional row of curved teeth at the front of both jaws.
The species is usually pink to red, often with a yellowish tinge.
Cepola australis was described by James Ogilby, Curator of the Australian Museum Fish Collection from 1884 until 1890. The holotype (AMS IA.3492) was caught in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in 1885.
Fish currently identified as C. australis may represent more than one species. Further taxonomic work on specimens from across the geographic range is needed.
It grows to 38 cm in length.
The species is endemic to Australia, occurring in tropical and warm temperate waters from northern Queensland, along the east and south coasts to eastern South 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.
Distribution by collection data
Bandfish live in burrows in areas of soft sediment at depths from a few metres to over 70 m.
- Glover, C.J.M. 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.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow