Silver Grunter, <i>Mesopristes argenteus</i> Click to enlarge image
A Silver Grunter caught by boat electrofishing at a depth of 2m, in the lowland freshwater section of the Mulgrave River, south of Cairns, Queensland, May 2005. Image: T. Rayner
© T. Rayner

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    argenteus
    Genus
    Mesopristes
    Family
    Terapontidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The species is silvery, often brownish-green above and white below, found mostly in coastal waters near mangroves and is omnivorous.

Identification

The Silver Grunter has large eyes, a flat ventral profile and a large emarginate caudal fin. It has long dorsal and anal fin spines.

The species is silvery, often brownish-green above and white below. Juveniles are silver with four strong black stripes on the head and body. The stripes disappear with growth.



Habitat

Adults are found mostly in coastal waters near mangroves. Juveniles enter estuaries and freshwaters.

Distribution

The species occurs throughout much of the Western Pacific, including Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

In Australia it is known from the eastern coast and rivers of Cape York Peninsula, 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.



Feeding and diet

It is an omnivorous species.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1991. Field Guide to The Freshwater Fishes of New Guinea. Christensen Research Institute. Pub. 9. Pp. 268.
  2. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  3. Grant, E.M. 1982. Guide to Fishes. The Department of Harbours and Marine, Brisbane, Queensland. Pp. 896.