Animal Species:Opah, Lampris guttatus (Brunnich, 1788)
The Opah is a distictively shaped spotted fish that lives worldwide in oceanic waters.
Standard Common Name
The species has also been called Spotted Moonfish and Opal Fish.
The Opah is a deep-bodied, compressed fish. It is deep blue on the back grading to a lighter blue or silver on the belly. The body is covered with white spots and the fins are a vibrant red.
Opahs grow to over 1.5 m in length and can weigh over 70 kg.
The species has a worldwide oceanic distribution. In Australia it is known from off northern New South Wales, around the south of the country including Tasmania, to south-western Western Australia.
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
It is a mid-water species which lives at depths between 100 m and 400 m.
Feeding and Diet
The species eats other fishes and squids.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Opah is warm blooded. Watch the video above to learn more.
- Glover, C.J.M. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- 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.
- Wheeler, A. 1975. Fishes of the World. An Illustrated Dictionary. Ferndale Editions. Pp.366.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology