Opistognathus jacksoniensis (Macleay, 1881)

Opistognathus jacksoniensis
Opistognathus jacksoniensis
Ian Shaw
Sunday, 10 December 2006
Nth Solitary Island
Common name: Southern Smiler

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Species distribution uncertain but probably east coast of Australia from southern Queensland to at least Sydney.

Ecological Notes:

Frequents sand and rubble areas near reefs, where it can build a burrow lined with rubble and shell material. Feeds on zooplankton which is taken from the water column.

Additional Notes:

Commonly seen with just the head visible from its burrow, these fishes are shy and retreat tail first when threatened. This species has an elongate body and a large mouth which is used to incubate eggs. Grows to about 20cm.