PORT PHILLIP BAY


Dusky Morwong 

Dactylophora nigricans (Richardson, 1850)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XV-XVI, 24-26
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 9-10
Caudal fin rays: 15
Pectoral fin rays: 14
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 45-55
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:
Dactylophora
Species:
nigricans

General Description

A large species with a long, slender, somewhat compressed body, thick rubbery lips, and thickened lower pectoral-fin rays, some slightly elongate. Adults uniform olive-green to greyish, paler below. Juveniles deeper-bodied, silvery with rusty-coloured bars and spots above and on tail. To 1.2 m.

Biology

This commercially important species is often seen sheltering in small groups in caves and under overhangs. Juveniles are common in seagrass beds in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

Habitat

Sheltered and exposed coastal reefs, in caves and under overhangs, in depths of 0-50 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Morwongs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1.2 m

Diet

Carnivore

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, Dusky Morwong, Dactylophora nigricans, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7987

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