Dwarf Lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus Click to enlarge image
A Dwarf Lionfish at a depth of 8 m, the Pipeline, New South Wales, 19 August 2012. Image: Matt Dowse
© Matt Dowse

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    brachypterus
    Genus
    Dendrochirus
    Family
    Scorpaenidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 15 cm in length.

Introduction

The Dwarf Lionfish is a small species that has distinct spotted bands on the pectoral fins. It occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific region.



Identification

The Dwarf Lionfish has large pectoral fins with distinct spotted bands. There is usually a short tentacle above the eye and variably developed leafy appendages on the head and lateral line.

The 13 venomous dorsal spines are about the same length or slightly shorter than the greatest body depth.

Body colouration is variable from red to brown.

Habitat

It occurs on coastal reefs and in estuaries.

Distribution

It is known from marine waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it occurs from south-western Western Australia around the tropical north and south to southern 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.



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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.