PORT PHILLIP BAY


Soldier 

Gymnapistes marmoratus (Cuvier, 1829)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XII-XIII, 7-10
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 4-6
Caudal fin rays: 12
Pectoral fin rays: 10-12
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 23-31

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 diverse group of bottom-dwelling fishes with a bony ridge, or stay across the cheek connecting the bones under the eye with the gill cover. Most species have spines projecting from bony ridges on the head and some have spines projecting from the gill cover. Many species are well-camouflaged ambush predators, often with elaborate cirri, filaments, leaf-like appendages and spiny ridges enhancing their camouflage. Scales are present or absent. Gurnards (also called searobins) have a pair of rostral spines projecting from the snout, large colourful wing-like pectoral fins and crawl over the bottom on their finger-like pelvic-fin rays. Many species have venomous spines.

Family level detail.
Small bottom-dwelling ambush predators with prominent erectile spines under the eye and 13-17 venomous dorsal-fin spines. Most live in shallow bays, estuaries and coastal waters, although some are found deeper.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Scorpaeniformes
Family:
Tetrarogidae
Genus:
Gymnapistes
Species:
marmoratus

General Description

Head with prominent spines, including a large spine below eye that erects forwards; dorsal fin long-based, spinous and soft-rayed portions separated by a notch; lateral line scales present, body otherwise naked. Body and fins overall pale to light brown with a mottled or marbled pattern of irregular darker blotches and spots; underside pale. To 23 cm, although most smaller.

Biology

These ambush predators are common in seagrass beds, and feed on crustaceans and small fishes. They are armed with venomous spines and are responsible for many painful stings received by people wading in the shallows, especially through seagrass beds.

Habitat

Sheltered sandy or muddy areas of bays, harbours and estuaries, in dpeths of 0-35 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Scorpionfishes

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

23 cm

Harmful

Venomous spines can inflict mild to severe pain.

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, Soldier, Gymnapistes marmoratus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 17 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/7992

Text: creative commons cc by licence