Luvarus imperialis Click to enlarge image
Louvar on the beach near Eden. Image: I. Merrington
© NSW DPI

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    imperialis
    Genus
    Luvarus
    Family
    Luvaridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Louvar grows to 2 m in length and 150 kg in weight.

Introduction

The Louvar is a stout, oval-shaped fish that occurs in tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans.

Identification

The Louvar has a stout oval-shaped body that tapers to a narrow caudal peduncle. It has a small mouth, and eyes that are positioned low on the head. The body is silver and the fins are pink. It is the only species in the family Luvaridae.

Habitat

The species lives its entire life in the open sea.

Distribution

The Louvar occurs in tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans. In Australia it is recorded from off northern to southern New South Wales.

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.

Ozcam map of Louvar specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Luvarus%20imperialis&zoom=off#mapView

Life history cycle

Females produce huge number of eggs. A 1.7 m long individual was estimated to contain 47.5 million eggs.

References

  1. 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.
  2. Johnson, G.D. & A.C. Gill. in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.
  3. Nelson, J.S., 1994. Fishes of the World, third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pp: 600.
  4. Tyler, J.C., Johnson, G.D., Nakamura, I. & B.B. Collette. 1989. Morphology of Luvarus imperialis (Luvaridae), with a phylogenetic analysis of the Acanthuroidei (Pisces). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 485: 1-78.