General Description

Body deep, head blunt, dorsal fin long-based, caudal fin forked with rounded tips. Yellowish-brown to blackish-grey with a white patch on the gill cover (operculum) at all sizes. Small juveniles bright orange with iridescent blue markings above, and a blue 'eye-spot' on the dorsal fin. Maximum total length 14 cm. White-ears differ from Scalyfins in always having a white spot on the gill cover.


Grazes a patch of algae and aggressively defends its territory during the breeding season. Males guard and fan the developing eggs.


New Zealand and south-eastern Australia.


Exposed reefs and rock pools, to depth of 30 m.

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