PORT PHILLIP BAY


Butterfly Perch 

Caesioperca lepidoptera (Forster, 1801)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: X, 19-21
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 9-10
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 16-17
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 52-65
Vertebrae: 10 + 16

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 large and diverse group of small to very large fishes, often with robust bodies, large mouths, often with prominent canine teeth in jaws. Most have a continuous dorsal fin and usually have three spines on the outer bones of the gill cover, and notches or serrations on the inner bone. All are carnivores, although many species feed on plankton.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Serranidae
Subfamily:
Anthiinae
Genus:
Caesioperca
Species:
lepidoptera

General Description

Body moderately elongate, compressed; pectoral fins elongate; dorsal fin long-based; tail forked. Overall pinkish above, paler below. Adults sparsely spotted, with a black blotch on sides above anal fin spines, pale blue fin margins and a blue band behind the eye. To a length of 30 cm.

Biology

These fishes form large schools, feeding on plankton above high profile rocky reefs and drop-offs. Although individuals rarely enter bays, they occur in shallower waters in the southern parts of their range.

Habitat

Pelagic around high profile rocky reefs and drop-offs, in depths of 4-100 m.

Reefs

Open water

Distribution guide

New Zealand and southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Seaperches and allies

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 cm

Diet

Omnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

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, Butterfly Perch, Caesioperca lepidoptera, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7982

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