Animal Species:Rough Bullseye, Pempheris klunzingeri McCulloch, 1911

The Rough Bullseye is endemic to Australia. It is usually seen in caves and under ledges.

Rough Bullseye at the Barge, Glenelg

Rough Bullseye at the Barge, Glenelg
Photographer: David Muirhead © David Muirhead

Standard Common Name

Rough Bullseye

Alternative Name/s

Klunzinger's Bullseye


The Rough Bullseye has a deep compressed body that is covered with small ctenoid scales that are rough to touch. It has a very large eye and a large obliquely-angled mouth. The body colour varies from pale yellowish or pinkish-brown to darker orange-brown. The leading edge and tip of the dorsal fin, and margins of the anal and caudal fins are often black. There is an orange bar at the rear of the head. The lateral line is yellow or brown.

The species was described in 1911 by Alan McCulloch, who worked at the Australian Museum from 1901 till 1925.

Size range

The species grows to 21 cm in length.


The Rough Bullseye is endemic to Australia, occurring in temperate waters from eastern South Australia to the central coast of 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.

Pempheris klunzingeri

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Rough Bullseye specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


This is a schooling species that is found on inshore, rocky reefs to depths of about 20 m. It is usually seen in caves and under ledges.



What does this mean?


  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. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Mooi, R.D. & R.N. Jubb. 1996. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Pempheris (Pisces: Pempherididae) from Australia, with a provisional key to Australian species. Records of the Australian Museum. 48(2): 117-130.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Rough Bullseye, Pempheris klunzingeri, Pempheridae, pink, gold, silver, black, normal fish, 10 cm - 30 cm, marine, adult,