Animal Species:Goblinfish, Glyptauchen panduratus (Richardson, 1850)
The Goblinfish can be recognised by the deep transverse groove behind the head and large pectoral fins.
Standard Common Name
Saddle Head, Saddle-headed Goblin Fish
The colouration of the species is variable from white to reddish-brown and black. Individuals can quickly change their colouration to match the environment.
The Goblinfish is an Australian endemic that occurs in marine waters of southern 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.
Coatal reefs and rocky areas in estuaries.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The species is rarely sighted during the day, emerging from cover at night.
Danger to humans and first aid
The dorsal spines are venomous.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow