Species Index

Histrio histrio
(Sargassum Fish)

Common Name: Sargassum Fish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Approximately circumtropical, known between 43 degrees N and at least 30 degrees S. In Australia recorded from around Perth in Western Australia, north across the offshore reefs of the North West Shelf, from Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to southern New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: Associated with floating weed, where it feeds on shrimps and small fish that take refuge. Normally in the surface layers 0 – 2 m, maximum 50 m depth.

Additional Notes: Mottled green, yellow and brown body, often seen in inshore waters after storms. Sluggish moving and not a strong swimmer, is nevertheless a voracious predator. Two specimens, one dead, found within a few days in the Coffs Harbour marina. When threatened by a predator this species has been known to jump out of the water onto the top of an algal mat, where it may stay out of water for some time. Grows to 20 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.53.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 01/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 01/06/18.