Blue Morwong, Nemadactylus douglasii Click to enlarge image
A Blue Morwong at a depth of 27 m, Wreck of the Valiant, outside Broken Bay, New South Wales, December 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    douglasii
    Genus
    Nemadactylus
    Family
    Cheilodactylidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 81 cm in length.

Introduction

The Grey Morwong is a good eating fish, found in commercial quantities. It can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape.

Identification

The Grey Morwong can be recognised by its colour and pectoral fin shape. It is silvery blue, with the upper surface sometimes tinted yellow or brown. The median fins are blue.

Habitat

It is usually seen by divers over sand near rocky reefs.

Distribution

The Grey Morwong is recorded from southern Queensland to Tasmania and also from New Zealand.

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.



Other behaviours and adaptations

During the day Grey Morwongs are sometimes seen propped up off the bottom on their long pectoral fin rays. They have been seen using the elongate pectoral fin rays to flick settling parasites off the body.

Economic impacts

The Grey Morwong schools in commercial quantities at depths around 100 m. It is a good eating species that is often caught on hook and line.

References

  1. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life; the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.