Bullrout, Notesthes robusta Click to enlarge image
A Bullrout caught in Lake Curalo, Eden, New South Wales, March 2006 (AMS I.43943-001). Image: Amanda Hay
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    robusta
    Genus
    Notesthes
    Family
    Tetrarogidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species can grow to 30 cm in length, but is more commonly seen up to about 20 cm.

Introduction

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.



Identification

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.



Habitat

The species lives in tidal estuaries and slow-flowing freshwater streams.

Distribution

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.



Danger to humans

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.

References

  1. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  2. Pollard, D.A. & P. Parker. 1996 in McDowall, R.M. (ed) Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
  3. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.