Pineapplefish, Cleidopus gloriamaris Click to enlarge image
A Pineapplefish photographed in Sydney Aquarium. Image: Richard Vevers
© Richard Vevers

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    gloriamaris
    Genus
    Cleidopus
    Family
    Monocentridae
    Order
    Beryciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 25 cm in length.

Introduction

The Pineapplefish is an unusual fish that can produce light from organs on the lower jaw.



Identification

The Pineapplefish is named for its pineapple-like appearance. It has robust scales with black margins. On either side of the lower jaw is a light organ that produces a greenish glow. The colour of the light is reported to change to red as the fish ages.

Habitat

It is often observed by divers on shallow coastal reefs, but is also trawled in deeper offshore waters.



Distribution

The species is recorded from the east and west coasts of Australia, but not from Victoria and South Australia.

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



Feeding and diet

The Pineapplefish feeds at night. Its prey are detected by light emitted from the light organs on the sides of the lower jaw. Within the light organs symbiotic bacteria produce a greenish glow.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is reported to make a creaking sound when disturbed.

References

  1. 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. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Nakabo, T. 2002. Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species, English edition. Tokyo: Tokai University Press. Pp. lxi + 1749.
  6. Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.