Eastern Wirrah Click to enlarge image
An Eastern Wirrah at a depth of 12 m, "Hole in the Wall", Northern Beaches, Sydney, New South Wales, December 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    ocellatus
    Genus
    Acanthistius
    Family
    Serranidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 45 cm in length.

Introduction

The Eastern Wirrah is a yellow to green colour and is covered by small blue-centred spots. It is often caught by anglers but it is such a poor eating fish, it is often called the Old Boot.



Identification

The Eastern Wirrah is a yellow to green colour and is covered by small blue-centred spots. It has a large mouth, three strong spines on the operculum and a round pupil. Juveniles are have a banded pattern.

Habitat

The Eastern Wirrah is found in a range of habitats from shallow rocky reefs to at least 100 m depth. Juveniles are sometimes seen in rockpools, whereas the adults are usually observed in caves and under overhangs.

Distribution

The species has been recorded from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria, Tasmania, and Lord Howe Island. It is common in New South Wales.

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



Economic impacts

It is often caught by anglers but it is such a poor eating fish, it is often called the Old Boot.

References

  • Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  • Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F, C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994.
  • The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.