PORT PHILLIP BAY


Knifejaw 

Oplegnathus woodwardi (Waite, 1900)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XI, 11
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 10-11
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 17
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: about 62
Gill rakers: (lower limb) 12

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.

Family level detail.
Rather deep bodied, oval-shaped fishes with teeth fused into a beak, dorsal fin continuous, long-based, anal fin similar and opposite soft part of dorsal fin; pectoral fins of moderate size, upper rays longest; pelvic fins below pectoral fin base with a strong spine, scales small, covering head and body.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Oplegnathidae
Genus:
Oplegnathus
Species:
woodwardi

General Description

Body deep, mouth small, not reaching to below eye, beak-like teeth in jaws, base of spinous dorsal fin much longer than soft part, spines strong, compressed, spines and soft rays of similar length. Body pale greyish with five broad black vertical bands, fins tinged with yellow, black blotch on soft dorsal and anal fins. To 48 cm.

Biology

The beak-like jaws of this species are well-adapted for crushing hard, shelled invertebrate prey.

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Knifejaws

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

48 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

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

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, Knifejaw, Oplegnathus woodwardi, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6436

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