Dusky Morwong, Dactylophora nigricans Click to enlarge image
A Dusky Morwong at a depth of 6 m, Jervis Bay, New South Wales, August 2006. Image: Peter Lees
© Peter Lees

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    nigricans
    Genus
    Dactylophora
    Family
    Cheilodactylidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 1.2 m in length.

Introduction

Dusky Morwongs can be recognised by their colouration. The species is endemic to Australia.



Identification

The Dusky Morwong can be recognised by its colouration. Adults are greyish to brownish grey above and whitish below. Immature fish are silvery with rows of orangish spots on the sides of the body. There are dark spots on the dorsal and caudal fins. Juveniles are deeper bodied. They are silvery with dark bands on the upper sides that extend through the dorsal fin.

Habitat

The species occurs on inshore rocky reefs. Larvae are usually found in seagrass beds.

Distribution

The Dusky Morwong is endemic to Australia. It occurs in temperate waters from the central coast of New South Wales to south-western Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter R.H. 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.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.