Whitley's Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta whitleyi Click to enlarge image
A Whitley's Gurnard Perch photographed at night at a depth of 9m, the Pipeline, Nelson Bay, New South Wales, 17 March 2011. Image: Dave Harasti
© Dave Harasti

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    whitleyi
    Genus
    Maxillicosta
    Family
    Neosebastidae
    Order
    Scorpaeniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 7 cm in length.

Introduction

Whitley’s Gurnard Perch has large eyes, a large oblique mouth and groove behind the eyes. The species is endemic to the east coast of Australia.

Identification

Whitley’s Gurnard Perch has large eyes, a large oblique mouth and groove behind the eyes. It can be recognised by a combination of characters that include a lack of reticulated colour pattern on the body and 19 to 22 pectoral fin rays. There are 40 to 47 scales in the longitudinal series and 25 to 28 pored lateral line scales. The nasal spines have 3 to 12 spinous points on the anteriormargin. The caudal fins of preserved specimens usually have three or four narrow irregular vertical bands.

The species is named in honour of Gilbert Whitley, Fish Curator at the Australian Museum for 42 years (1922-1964).



Habitat

The species is usually found at a depth of 41 m - 82 m.

Distribution

The species is endemic to the east coast of Australia, occurring from southern Queensland to north-eastern 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. 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. Motomura, H., Last, P.R. & M.F. Gomon. 2006. A New species of the Scorpionfish Genus Maxillicosta from the Southeast Coast of Australia, with a Redescription of M. whitleyi (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae). Copeia 3: 445-459.