False Kelpfish, Sebastiscus marmoratus Click to enlarge image
A False Kelpfish at a depth of 12 m, Green Point, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, July 1980. Image: Rudie Kuiter
© Rudie Kuiter

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    marmoratus
    Genus
    Sebastiscus
    Family
    Sebastidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The colouration of this fish is variable from yellowish to brown or red with a blotched pattern. The species occurs in coastal marine waters. It has been introduced to Australia.

Identification

As its standard name implies, the False Kelpfish resembles the Kelpfish. These two fishes are in the families Scorpaenidae and Chironemidae respectively. They can be separated by the False Kelpfish's larger mouth, spiny operculum and the presence of a suborbital stay. The colouration of this fish is variable from yellowish to brown or red with a blotched pattern.

Distribution

The species occurs in coastal marine waters from Hokkaido, Japan to the Philippines. It has also been introduced to Australia, most likely in the ballast water of ships. In Australia it is only known from Sydney Harbour, New South Wales.

References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.