Foxfish Click to enlarge image
A Foxfish at a depth of 9 m, Esperance, Western Australia, 2 January 2013. Image: Wandy Hochgrebe
© Wandy Hochgrebe

Fast Facts

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

Introduction

The Foxfish is brown to red or orange with a pale chin and two spots on the back. It occurs temperate marine waters of south-western Western Australia to eastern South Australia and from southern Queensland to eastern Tasmania.

Identification

The Foxfish is brown to red or orange with a pale chin and two spots on the back. Juveniles are brown with three yellowish patches and a black area around the pectoral fin base.

Habitat

It is usually seen under ledges and in caves.

Distribution

The Foxfish is known from temperate marine waters of south-western Western Australia to eastern South Australia and from southern Queensland to eastern Tasmania.

This distribution has a distinct gap through Victoria. Some authors believe the name B.frenchii should only be used for fish from the western part of the distribution, with fish from eastern Australia being an undescribed species of Bodianus.

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

  • Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  • Gomon, M.F. 2001. Descriptions of two new species of Bodianus (Perciformes: Labridae) from Australasian waters. New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 28: 407-416.
  • Gomon, M.F. & B.C. Russell 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.
  • Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.