Sea Sweep, <i>Scorpis aequipinnis</i> Click to enlarge image
A Sea Sweep at a depth of 5m, Rapid Bay Jetty, South Australia, December, 2003. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    aequipinnis
    Genus
    Scorpis
    Family
    Kyphosidae
    Order
    Perciforomes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 61 cm in length.

Introduction

The Sea Sweep is grey, often with a tinge of blue, green, or sometimes brown. The belly is silvery. It is a schooling species that is seen in small aggregations to large schools often feeding on plankton.

Identification

The Sea Sweep has a deep compressed body that is covered with tiny ctenoid scales. The dorsal and anal fins both have a prominent raised lobe. It has a large forked caudal fin and small pectoral fins. The species is grey, often with a tinge of blue, green, or sometimes brown. The belly is silvery. There are two indistinct dusky bands on the upper sides.

Habitat

The Sea Sweep is found on rocky reefs in coastal waters. It is a schooling species that is seen in small aggregations to large schools often feeding on plankton, well above the seabed.

Distribution

In Australia the species is known from the southern coast of New South Wales, around the south of the country and north to the central coast of 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.



Feeding and diet

The species feeds on plankton.

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. 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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & F.H. Talbot. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Pp. 563.