General Description

Body compressed, moderately short and deep, dorsal profile of head concave, with short horns in front of eyes, thick lips, and lower rays of pectoral find elongate and thickened. Whitish with two broad dark bands encircling the body, black pelvic fins and a reddish-orange tail. Usually 20 cm long head to tail tip (up to 40 cm).


Relatively common on southern reefs, and individuals often form small groups on the deeper parts of estuaries and bays. Adults can rapidly change colour and the white space between the dark bands may become grey and the second dark band may appear white. While young Magpie Perch usually occur in sheltered bays in rocky and weedy areas or under piers and jetties, they are also seen in coastal rock pools.


New Zealand and southern Australia.


Shallow rocky reefs in coastal waters and estuaries.

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