Animal Species:Magpie Perch, Cheilodactylus nigripes, Richardson, 1850
The Magpie Perch isn't related to Magpies or to the true Perches. It belongs to the family Cheilodactylidae, also known as the Morwongs.
Standard Common Name
Black-striped Morwong, Magpie Morwong
The species has a pale head and body with three dark bands, the central band usually the darkest. Interestingly, the fish can "turn off" the central band almost instantly, dramatically changing its colour pattern.
The Magpie Morwong grows to a length of over 40 cm
The species is found in temperate marine wates from Albany in Western Australia to Kiama in New South Wales. It is also found in Tasmania.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
- Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Hutchins, B. & M. Thompson. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 103.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & F.H. Talbot. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority. Pp. 563.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow