Finger Dragonet, Dactylopus dactylopus Click to enlarge image
A Finger Dragonet at a depth of 15m, Mosmans, Swan River, Western Australia, 30 October 2004. Image: William White
© William White

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    dactylopus
    Genus
    Dactylopus
    Family
    Callionymidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    30 cm

Introduction

The Finger Dragonet is the only species of Dactylopus known from Australian waters.



Identification

The species can be recognised by its large fan-like pelvic fins with a leading detatched first ray.

Habitat

Sandy and weedy seabeds.

Distribution

It occurs in the Indo-west Pacific region. In Australia it is known from tropical and some temperate waters from south-western Western Australia to northern 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.



Feeding and diet

Watch a Finger Dragonet feeding on brine shrimp.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.