<i>Maxillicosta raoulensis</i> Click to enlarge image
A 70.5mm SL Little Red Gurnard Perch trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between 72m and 82m, near Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe Rise, New South Wales , May 2003 (NMV A25132-002 ). Image: Kerryn Parkinson
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    raoulensis
    Genus
    Maxillicosta
    Family
    Neosebastidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to approximately 13 cm.

Introduction

As its common name suggests, the Red Little Gurnard Perch is a small species of scorpionfish that unlike other species of Maxillicosta, has a red body.

Identification

Fresh Red Little Gurnard Perch specimens have reddish bodies with yellowish pectoral and pelvic fins. Other members of the genus Maxillicosta, have whitish bodies with brownish or blackish blotches and whitish pectoral and pelvic fins.

M. raoulensis can also be distinguished from other Australian species of Maxillicosta by having 25-27pectoral fin rays (versus 20-23) and 14-17 gill rakers (versus 10-13).

Distribution

The Red Little Gurnard Perch is common in New Zealand, especially the Kermadec Islands. Four specimens were recently recorded from Australian waters (off New South Wales and the Lord Howe Rise). The Red Little Gurnard Perch is probably widely distributed on the oceanic ridges of the south-western Pacific Ocean.

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



References

  1. Eschmeyer, W.N. and S.G. Poss. 1976. Review of the scorpionfish genus Maxillicosta (Pisces: Scorpaenidae), with a description of three new species from the Australian-New Zealand region. Bulletin of Marine Science. 26(4): 433-449.
  2. Motomura, H., Last, P.R. & W.T. White. 2005. First records of a scorpionfish, Maxillicosta raoulensis (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae), from the Tasman Sea, with fresh colour notes for the species. Biogeography, 7: 85-90.