Body deep, robust, somewhat oval, with a rounded head and a single long-based dorsal fin. Body scales large, bases of dorsal and anal fins with scaly sheath of smaller scales. Colour highly variable, large adults dark greyish to black, or rusty-coloured with a dusky head, pale spots along lateral line and sometimes pale below. Juveniles bright orange with neon-blue lines, spots and a black ocellus ringed with neon-blue on dorsal fin. To 25 cm.
The Scalyfin is territorial and very bold, especially during the breeding season. They continually graze small algal "gardens" in their home territories and males aggressively protect eggs against all-comers.
Coastal rocky reefs and rocky estuaries; juveniles are often found in tide pools, in depths of 3-30 m.
Southern Australia, including western and central Victoria.
Native to Australia
- DSE Advisory List : Not listed
- EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
- IUCN Red List : Least Concern