Harlequin Smiler, Opistognathus eximius Click to enlarge image
A Harlequin Smiler caught on hook and line near Hervey Bay, Queensland, 2006. Image: R. March
© R. March

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    eximius
    Genus
    Opistognathus
    Family
    Opistognathidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 40 cm in length.

Introduction

The Harlequin Smiler, like all the aptly named jawfishes has a very large mouth. In Australia it is known from central to southern Queensland.

Identification

The Harlequin Smiler is golden-yellow above and blue-purple below. There are blue-edged yellow spots on the sides and a deep blue blotch on the operculum. The dorsal fin has yellow stripes and the anal fin has yellow spots. The Harlequin Smiler, like all the aptly named jawfishes has a very large mouth.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Central Pacific. In Australia it is known from central to southern Queensland.

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

  1. Grant, E.M. 1982. Guide to Fishes. The Department of Harbours and Marine, Brisbane, Queensland. Pp. 896.
  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.