Animal Species:Bullrout, Notesthes robusta (Günther, 1860)
The Bullrout should be handled with extreme care. The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines all have venom glands. The species occurs from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.
Standard Common Name
Freshwater Bullrout, Freshwater Stonefish, Kroki
The Bullrout has a large head with seven spines on the operculum. It has a big mouth with a protruding lower jaw. The spinous dorsal fin is slightly concave posteriorly and the last soft dorsal ray is attached by a membrane to the caudal peduncle. The body is covered with small scales but the head is scaleless. It's colouration is variable from pale yellowish to dark brown, with blotches and marbling of dark brown, red-brown, grey or black. These markings sometimes form broad irregular bands.
The species can grow to 30 cm in length, but is more commonly seen up to about 20 cm.
It occurs from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales and has infrequently been caught at sea.
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 lives in tidal estuaries and slow-flowing freshwater streams.
Danger to humans and first aid
The Bullrout should be handled with extreme care. The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines all have venom glands. A puncture wound from one of these spines can be excruciatingly painful.
- Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
- Pollard, D.A. & P. Parker. 1996 in McDowall, R.M. (ed) Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
- Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags Fish, Ichthyology, Bullrout, Notesthes robusta, Tetrarogidae, Freshwater Bullrout, Freshwater Stonefish, Kroki, venomous, large head, big mouth, small scales, pale yellow, dark brown, blotches/mottled, red-brown, grey, black, stripes or bands, 10 cm - 30 cm, tidal estuaries, slow-flowing freshwater, dangerous,