PORT PHILLIP BAY


Jackass Morwong 

Nemadactylus macropterus (Forster, 1801)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XVII-XVIII, 24-28
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 13-15
Caudal fin rays: 15
Pectoral fin rays: 14-15
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: (onto caudal fin) 57-64
Vertebrae : 35

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.
Large robust fishes with small mouths with large ?rubbery? lips, high numbers of spines and rays in dorsal fin, and lower rays in pectoral fins thickened, prolonged and partially detached in some, but thickened and unbranched but not prolonged in others, tail forked. Extremely popular commercial and recreational fishes.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Cheilodactylidae
Genus:
Nemadactylus
Species:
macropterus

General Description

Body oval, compressed, with a slender tail base, thick lips, and pectoral fins with thickened lower rays, the uppermost thickened ray noticeably extended. Silver with broad black crescent-shaped band on back of head. To 70 cm.

Biology

This species is occasionally seen foraging on rocky reefs and in sandy areas of Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, although it more commonly forms large schools in deeper coastal waters. It is commercially important.

Habitat

Rocky reefs and exposed sandy and silty areas in bays and coastal waters, in depths of 0-400 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

New Zealand and southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Morwongs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

70 cm

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Recorded in 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, Jackass Morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 29 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6419

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