Painted Stinkfish, Eocallionymus papilio Click to enlarge image
A Painted Stinkfish at a depth of 18 m, North Solitary Island, New South Wales, 10 December 2006. Image: Ian Shaw
© Ian Shaw

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    papilio
    Genus
    Eocallionymus
    Family
    Callionymidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 13 cm in length, but is more commonly seen at lengths of 5 cm to 7 cm.

Introduction

The dragonets and stinkfishes are bottom-dwelling fishes that typically have triangular heads and barbed preopercular spines.

Identification

Male and female Painted Stinkfish have different colour patterns (sexual dichromatism). Base colouration can vary from white to pink and dark brown. Males are generally spotted above and have vertical striping below. Females are usually also spotted above but are blotched below. The first dorsal fin of the male is larger and more colourful than that of the female.

Habitat

The Painted Stinkfish is usually found at depths between 3 m and 50 m, in seagrass beds and areas of muddy, sandy or shell-covered seabeds. It is often well camouflaged.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia. It occurs in temperate marine waters from the central New South Wales coast, around the south of the country to south-western Western Australia.

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. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  2. Fricke, R. 1983. Revision of the Indo-Pacific Genera and Species of the Dragonet Family Callionymidae (Teleostei). Braunschweig. Pp. 774. Figs. 212.
  3. Gomon, M.F. 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.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.