PORT PHILLIP BAY


Western Kelpfish 

Chironemus georgianus

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XV-XVI, 14-17
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 7-9
Caudal fin rays: 15-16
Pectoral fin rays: 14-16
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 46-48

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.
A small group of temperate fishes with moderately long, slender bodies, thickened pectoral fins, tubular nostrils with tufts of cirri, smooth scales, a single, long-based dorsal fin with stout spines and a distinct notch separating the shorter-based soft portion. Well adapted for life in shallow coastal waters exposed to strong wave action, using large pectoral fins to wedge themselves among rocks in the kelp zone.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Chironemidae
Genus:
Chironemus
Species:
georgianus

General Description

Body robust, head pointed, mouth small; fleshy cirri on nostrils and on the tips of the dorsal-fin spines; pectoral fins large with thickened lower rays extending noticeably past edge of membrane. Heavily mottled grey to brown. To 20 cm.

Biology

A shy species, the Western Kelpfish generally shelters beneath ledges and in caves during the day. In areas of heavy surf, kelpfish use their large pectoral fins to wedge themselves amongst holes in the rocks so they are not swept away.

Habitat

Coastal reefs, often in the surge zone, in depths of 0-10 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Kelpfishes

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 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, Western Kelpfish, Chironemus georgianus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6369

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