Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    theraps
    Genus
    Terapon
    Family
    Terapontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The Largescale Grunter can be recognised by its colouration. It is silvery-grey above, silver-white below and has four broad dusky to blackish stripes on the sides of the body. The species is omnivorous, and occurs in inshore waters of the tropical Indo-west Pacific.

Identification

The Largescale Grunter can be recognised by its colouration. Adults are silvery-grey above, silver-white below with four broad dusky to blackish stripes on the sides of the body. There is a large black blotch on the first dorsal fin between the third and sixth spines. The forked tail has five dark stripes, the uppermost being on the tip of the fin.

Juveniles are brown with darker brown stripes and regularly spaced white spots.  The tail is striped.

Habitat

The Largescale Grunter is an omnivorous species that occurs in inshore waters of the tropical Indo-west Pacific. It is commonly found in brackish waters and mangrove habitats. The Largescale Grunter is often found under floating algae. It is the most common member of the family found under floating Sargassum in north-western Australian waters (pers. comm. B. Hutchins).

Distribution

In Australia it is known from north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to southern Queensland. Juveniles are sometimes encountered as far south as Sydney.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Terapon theraps

Ozcam map of Largescale Grunter specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Terapon%20theraps&zoom=off#mapView

Feeding and diet

The species is omnivorous.

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.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  4. Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J., & G.G. Leyland. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of northern and north-western Australia. An illustrated Guide. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research. Pp. 375.
  5. Vari, R.P. 1978. The terapon perches (Percoidei, Terapontidae) a cladistic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 159(5): 175-340.