Southern Roughy Click to enlarge image
A Southern Roughy at a depth of 15 m, North West Solitary Island, New South Wales, January 2008. Image: Ian Shaw
© Ian Shaw

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Trachichthys
    Family
    Trachichthyidae
    Order
    Beryciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 17 cm in length.

Introduction

The Southern Roughy has a very deep body with rough scales. The species is endemic to Australia.

Identification

The Southern Roughy has a very deep body with rough scales. It has large eyes and a single tall dorsal fin. It is reddish-brown with a dark bar on the operculum and white fin spines. There are dark brown patches on the median fin rays.

Habitat

The Southern Roughy is a benthic species that is usually found on rocky reefs from shallow waters down to about 40 m in depth.

Distribution

It is endemic to Australia, occurring in temperate coastal waters from southern Queensland to south-western Western Australia. The type locality for the species is Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), New South Wales.

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



Other behaviours and adaptations

When disturbed this fish can produce a noxious milky substance that can disable other fishes.

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. in 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. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.