Oplegnathus woodwardi Click to enlarge image
A Knifejaw caught at a depth of 120m, off Eden, New South Wales, November 2001 (AMS I.41077-001). The fish was sent to the Australian Museum by the staff of Eden Fisheries. Image: Tom Trnski
© Tom Trnski

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    woodwardi
    Genus
    Oplegnathus
    Family
    Oplegnathidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at 48 cm in length.

Introduction

The Knifejaw has teeth in both jaws that are fused into a parrot-like beak. The species is most commonly found in the Great Australian Bight.

Identification

The Knifejaw has teeth in both jaws that are fused into a parrot-like beak. It is brown to yellow-grey above and pale below. The sides are crossed by five dark bars. The first passes through the eye and the last crosses the caudal peduncle.



Habitat

The Knifejaw is usually found in offshore waters in depths from 50 m to 400 m. Young fish are sometimes found in shallow inshore waters.

Distribution

The species lives in temperate marine waters of southern Australia, from the New South Wales central coast to the central coast of Western Australia. It is most common in the Great Australian Bight.

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. Glover. C.J.M. 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.
  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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.