PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sea Sweep 

Scorpis aequipinnis (Richardson, 1848)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: IX, 27-28
Anal fin spines/rays: III, 25-26
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 18
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: about 100

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 diverse group of moderately deep-bodied oval fishes with short heads, blunt snouts, a continuous long-based dorsal fin, a concave to forked tail, pelvic fins arising behind the pectoral-fin base and small rough scales. Most are omnivores and often occur in large schools.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Kyphosidae
Subfamily:
Scorpidinae
Genus:
Scorpis
Species:
aequipinnis

General Description

Body deep, compressed; head short, mouth small; dorsal and anal fins long-based, soft-rayed portions tall near the front, tapering rapidly towards the slightly forked tail; body and fin bases completely covered in tiny rough scales. Silvery-grey, often tinged with blue, green or brown above, with two indistinct broad bands on the upper sides; pale-silvery below. To 60 cm, and a weight of 2 kg.

Biology

Sea sweep are omnivores, browsing on algae and zooplankton. They are an active schooling species, often seen feeding on plankton well above the bottom.

Habitat

Inshore rocky reefs, in depths of 1-25 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Sweeps and allies

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor Midwater

Max Size

60 cm

Commercial Species

Yes

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, Sea Sweep, Scorpis aequipinnis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/8011

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