PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sergeant Baker 

Aulopus purpurissatus Richardson, 1843

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 19-22
Anal fin spines/rays: 12-14
Caudal fin rays: about 35
Pectoral fin rays: 11
Ventral fin spines/rays: 8-9
Lateral line: 49-53
Vertebrae: 48-49

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A very diverse group of marine predatory fishes found worldwide. Most species are slender-bodied and share a number of primitive and advanced features, including a specialised arrangement of the gill arches. They have abdominal pelvic fins, a single dorsal fin, a small adipose fin before the tail and cycloid scales (when present). All lack fin spines and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth (it is not on the jaw). Many have jaws with rows of sharp teeth, and a few have enlarged dagger-like teeth in their mouths.

Family level detail.
Moderately slender, posteriorly tapering fishes with large heads and jaws; dorsal fin moderately long-based, often with long anterior rays, and a small adipose fin near the tail base; tail forked, pelvic fins broad, scales rough.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Aulopiformes
Family:
Aulopidae
Genus:
Aulopus
Species:
purpurissatus

General Description

Body long, slender; head stout, snout long; eye small, on top of head; anterior dorsal-fin rays long, especially in males. Red to purplish above, pale below, fins yellow, with red, orange and brown blotches and spots, eye orange. To 69 cm.

Biology

This species feeds on molluscs, crustaceans and other fishes. The flesh is considered good eating.

Habitat

Subtropical and temperate waters, in bays, inlets and inshore and offshore reefs, especially areas with macroalgal cover, in depths of 15-250 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Threadsails

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

69 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Sergeant Baker, Aulopus purpurissatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6285

Text: creative commons cc by licence