Animal Species:Bigscale Bullseye, Pempheris multiradiata Klunzinger, 1879

The Bigscale Bullseye is found in a range of habitats. It prefers to feed at night, and shelters in caves and ledges during the day.

Bigscale Bullseye at Jervis Bay, New South Wales

Bigscale Bullseye at Jervis Bay, New South Wales
Photographer: Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Bigscale Bullseye

Alternative Name/s

Big-scaled Bullseye, Common Bullseye, Large-scaled Bullseye


The Bigscale Bullseye is pale to dark brown or silvery with thick brown stripes along the scale rows. The fins are dusky. Juveniles are paler with black-tipped, yellow pelvic fins. It is a deep-bodied compressed species with a very large eye and a large oblique mouth.

Size range

The Bigscale Bullseye grows to 28 cm in length.


It is recorded from southern Australian marine waters from the central New South Wales coast to the south-west coast of Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Pempheris multiradiata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Bigscale Bullseye specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


The Bigscale Bullseye is found in a range of habitats from shallow silty estuaries to depths of 30 m on rocky reefs. 

Feeding and Diet

This species usually shelters in caves and ledges during the day, venturing out at night to feed.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Juveniles are often seen in moderate-sized schools, but adults are usually solitary or occasionally in small schools.



What does this mean?


  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Bigscale Bullseye, Pempheris multiradiata, Pempheridae, orange, yellow, blue, black, white\, normal fish, 10 cm - 30 cm, mottled, marine, adult, huge eyes,