PORT PHILLIP BAY


White-ear 

Parma microlepis Günther, 1862

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: XIII, 16-18
Anal fin spines/rays: II, 14-16
Caudal fin rays: 15
Pectoral fin rays: 20-21
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 23-28
Gill rakers: 19-23

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.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Pomacentridae
Genus:
Parma
Species:
microlepis

General Description

Body deep, somewhat oval, with a rounded head and a single long-based dorsal fin. Scales large, bases of dorsal and anal fins with scaly sheath of smaller scales. Colour highly variable from juvenile to adult. Large individuals yellowish-brown to black with a distinct white "ear" marking on the gill cover. Small juveniles bright orange with neon-blue lines, spots and a black ocellus ringed with neon-blue on dorsal fin. With growth, body becomes brown and the blue colour and ocellus gradually disappear. The white "ear" marking is visible at all stages. To 20 cm.

Biology

Although very rare in Port Phillip Bay, the White Ear is one of the most abundant rocky reef fishes in the Sydney region. Like many other damselfishes, it is very territorial and males aggressively guard their eggs against predators.

Habitat

Lives near the bottom on exposed coastal reefs; juveniles often found in rock pools; in depths of 0-30 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, including central and eastern Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Damselfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

20 cm

Diet

Omnivore

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, White-ear, Parma microlepis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Sep 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8003

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