Dusky Driftfish Click to enlarge image
A Dusky Driftfish swimming below a jellyfish. This photograph was taken at a depth of 16m, North West Solitary Island, New South Wales, February, 2004. Image: Ian Shaw
© Ian Shaw

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    arafurensis
    Genus
    Psenes
    Family
    Nomeidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 23 cm in length.

Introduction

The Dusky Driftfish is a compressed, deep bodied fish found in most tropical marine waters swimming amongst jellyfish or under floating weeds.

Identification

The Dusky Driftfish has a compressed body, a small mouth and a deeply notched dorsal fin. Juveniles are silvery with indistinct dark bands. Adults are silver grey with thin stripes.

Habitat

Juveniles are often seen in coastal waters swimming with jellyfishes. Adults have been observed under floating weeds, but are probably benthopelagic.

Distribution

It occurs worldwide in tropical marine waters. In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and off northern Queensland to the central coast of New South Wales.

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.



Further reading

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  2. Last, P.R. 2001. Nomeidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 6. Bony Fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-v, 3381-4218.