PORT PHILLIP BAY


Eastern Blackspot Pigfish 

Bodianus unimaculatus (Günther, 1862)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XII, 11
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 12
Caudal fin rays: 14
Pectoral fin rays: 14-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 31-33

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 meristics 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 large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Usually long, slender colourful fishes with a single long-based dorsal fin, well-developed pectoral fins used for swimming, thick lips, jaws with well-developed canine teeth and crushing molars on the bones at the bases of the gill arches. Many are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that they change sex from female to male.

Recent molecular studies indicate the Labridae is not a natural group without the inclusion of the Weed whitings (formerly Odacidae) and Parrotfishes (formerly Scaridae).

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Labridae
Subfamily:
Bodianinae
Genus:
Bodianus
Subgenus:
Verreo
Species:
unimaculatus

General Description

Moderately large colourful fishes with slender, pointed snouts and large canine teeth in front of jaws; dorsal and anal fins with scaly basal sheaths. Juveniles and females with fine pinkish horinzontal lines and three thicker broken red stripes often with black centres along the upper body; stripes become less distinct with age. Males reddish above, often with a large whitish blotch on sides below rear of dorsal fin; anal fin pink, and a blue-edged black spot on dorsal fin. To 50 cm.

Biology

Pigfish change sex from females to males and have three colour phases during their life cycle. When they enter shallower water, they are occasionally seen by divers in about 30 m. They are taken on hook and line by recreational anglers in eastern Australia, and occasionally seen in commercial fish markets.

Habitat

Usually on deep reefs, in depths to 60 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

New Zealand and eastern Australia. Rare in eastern and central Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Wrasses, rock whitings and allies

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

50 cm

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

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

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, Eastern Blackspot Pigfish, Bodianus unimaculatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 16 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6362

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