General Description

Moderately long body without scales. The dorsal fin is long-based with notched fin membranes on the spiny part. The pectoral fins are large. There is a stout curved spine on each side of the snout below the eye; the spines can be locked forwards. Pale mottled brown in colour with large irregular darker patches, a dark blotch on the spiny dorsal fin and a dark bar through the eye. Body up to 22 cm (usually around 15 cm).


The Soldier, also known as the Cobbler, is common in sheltered coastal bays and estuaries. It is an ambush predator and usually rests motionless on the seafloor waiting for its prey of small fishes and crustaceans. They spawn in spring after reaching sexual maturity at two to four years old and can live at least 14 years. The Soldier has venomous fin spines. It is responsible for many painful stings received by fishers, boaters and bathers wading in shallow seagrass beds and weedy areas.


Eastern, southern and south-western AustraliaSouthern Australia.


Shallow sandy and muddy areas in bays and quiet coastal areas, especially amongst seagrass, in depths of 0-35 m.

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