Splendid Perch caught on hook and line Click to enlarge image
A Splendid Perch caught on hook and line at a depth around 60m, about 5 km off Stanwell Park, New South Wales, 24 August 2014. Thank you to Rudie Kuiter for confirming the identification of the fish. He stated that "Sexes are very similar and males change colour when displaying to females. Males have short horizontal lines behind the eyes, but the red colouration masks much of it." Image: Dylan Hannah
© Dylan Hannah

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Callanthias
    Family
    Callanthiidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The Splendid Perch is bright red or orange with red or yellow fins. Juveniles are pink. The species occurs in temperate marine waters of Australia and New Zealand.



Identification

The Splendid Perch has a moderately elongate, compressed body. It has a small oblique mouth. The dorsal fin increases in height posteriorly The anal fin is long-based.

The species is bright red or orange with red or yellow fins. Juveniles are pink.

It was described in 1899 by Australian Museum fish Curator James Ogilby.


<i>Callanthias australis</i>
Splendid Perch, Callanthias australis Image: Tom Trnski
© Australian Museum

Habitat

The species is found at depths from 20 m to 200 m. Juveniles sometimes occur at depths of 10 m to 20 m in inshore waters.

Distribution

The Splendid Perch occurs in temperate marine waters of Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it is known from the central coast of New South Wales, around the south of the country to southern Western Australia.

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

The Splendid Perch is a schooling species.

References

  1. Anderson, W.D. in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.
  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. 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.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.