<i>Aphareus rutilans </i> Click to enlarge image
A 565 mm SL (740 mm TL) male Rusty Jobfish speared at a depth of 20m, Marion Reef, Queensland, December 2006 (AMS I.44064-001). Image: Andy Ruddock
© Andy Ruddock

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    rutilans
    Genus
    Aphareus
    Family
    Lutjanidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to about 80 cm in length but is common to about 50 cm.

Identification

The Rusty Jobfish is an elongate species with a large lunate tail. It has a large mouth with a protruding lower jaw and minute teeth. The long-based dorsal fin is not deeply incised at the junction of the spinous and soft-rayed portions. The last ray of both the dorsal and anal fins is elongated. Body colour varies from blue-grey to mauve or reddish.

The Rusty Jobfish resembles the Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca . The two species can be separated based on colour and gill raker counts. The Smalltooth Jobfish is steel-blue to purplish brown. It has 6 to 12 gill rakers on the upper limb (vs. 16 to 19 in the Rusty Jobfish) and 15 to 18 on the lower limb (vs. 32 to 35).

Distribution

The species occurs in coral reef and inshore waters of the tropical Indo-west and Central Pacific.

In Australia it is known from off north-western Western Australia and northern Queensland.

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. Anderson, W.D.Jnr & G.R. Allen. 2001. Lutjanidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-iv, 2791-3379.
  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.