Optivus agastos Click to enlarge image
A Slender Roughy at a depth of 23 m, Magic Point, Maroubra, Sydney, New South Wales, June 2004. Image: E. Schlögl
© E. Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    agastos
    Genus
    Optivus
    Family
    Trachichthyidae
    Order
    Beryciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 12 cm in length.

Introduction

The Violet Roughy is a moderately elongate, compressed fish. It is brown to grey, with a red-brown stripe on the upper and lower lobes of the caudal fin. The species occurs in coastal waters from southern Queensland to the central coast of Victoria.

Identification

The Violet Roughy is a moderately elongate, compressed fish with a series of strong scutes along the belly. It is brown to grey with hyaline fins. There is a red-brown stripe on the upper and lower lobes of the caudal fin.

For many years this species was known as Optivus elongatus. OzFishNet member, Dr Martin Gomon from Museum Victoria recently described two new species of Optivus in his 2004 paper - Optivus agastos, which is known from the southern Queensland to the central coast of Victoria, and Optivus agrammus, which occurs from western South Australia to south-western Western Australia. Optivus elongatus is known only from New Zealand waters.

Habitat

The Violet Roughy occurs in coastal waters.

Distribution

The species occurs from southern Queensland to the central coast of Victoria.

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. 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. Gomon, M.F. 2004. Two new species of roughy (Trachichthyidae: Optivus) from coastal waters of southern Australia. Records of the Australian Museum. 56(2): 173-78.
  3. 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.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.