Animal Species:Knifejaw, Oplegnathus woodwardi (Waite, 1900)
The Knifejaw has teeth in both jaws that are fused into a parrot-like beak. The species is most commonly found in the Great Australian Bight.
Standard Common Name
Conway, Hoofjaw, Horseshoe-jaw, Parrot Fish
The Knifejaw has teeth in both jaws that are fused into a parrot-like beak. It is brown to yellow-grey above and pale below. The sides are crossed by five dark bars. The first passes through the eye and the last crosses the caudal peduncle.
The species grows to at 48 cm in length.
The species lives in temperate marine waters of southern Australia, from the New South Wales central coast to the central coast of Western Australia. It is most common in the Great Australian Bight.
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 Knifejaw is usually found in offshore waters in depths from 50 m to 400 m. Young fish are sometimes found in shallow inshore waters.
- 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.
- 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.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Knifejaw, Oplegnathus woodwardi, Oplegnathidae, brown, yellow, grey, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, stripes or bands, countershaded, coastal, marine, adult, black stripes or bands,