Foxfish, Bodianus frenchii (Klunzinger 1879)


Other Names: Fox Wrasse, Western Foxfish

A Foxfish, Bodianus frenchii, at Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Source: Ben K. Jones. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:
Adults are reddish with a whitish underside, prominent pale blotches on the upper sides, pink to reddish fins, and a conspicuous black margin anteriorly on dorsal fin (large adults). Juveniles are blackish with several prominent pale bands or spots on  the sides and a large black spot on the dorsal and anal fins, and around the pectoral-fin base.

For many years the Foxfish mistakenly took the scientific name Bodianus vulpinus, a name which properly applies to the Western Pigfish. This cool water species occurs on both the eastern and western coasts of Australia with a gap in distribution from St Vincent Gulf, South Australia to eastern Bass Strait.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017, Bodianus frenchii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/213

Foxfish, Bodianus frenchii (Klunzinger 1879)

More Info


Distribution

Confined to the temperate waters of southern Australia, with confirmed records from east of Mooloolaba, Queensland to northeastern Tasmania in the east and between about Port Denison, Western Australia and the York Peninsula, South Australia in the west. In the east, it occurs on reefs at depths of 15-80 m.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin XII, 10; Anal fin  III, 11; Pectoral fin 16-17; Lateral line 34-38.

Body moderately deep, of moderate length, compressed, caudal peduncle moderately deep.  Head of moderate size, dorsal profile with slight convex curve;  eyes of moderate size;  mouth of moderate size, angled slightly obliquely, reaching below anterior portion of eye; teeth distinctly pointed, single row in each jaw, anterior two pairs enlarged, upper jaw with enlarged curved canine at rear. Scales moderately large, cycloid, firmly attached, covering body and rear portion of head, including cheeks, extending onto bases of dorsal and anal fins;  lateral line smoothly curved.  Single dorsal fin with elongate base and uniform height;  anal fin similar to and opposite rear half of dorsal fin; caudal fin squared off.  Pectoral fins of moderate size, upper rays longest. Pelvic fins of moderate size, arising below pectoral fin base, reaching to or near anus.

Size

Reaches a length of 48 cm TL.

Colour

Juveniles blackish with several prominent yellowish bands or spots on  sides and large white edged, black spots on dorsal and anal fins and pectoral fin base; large juveniles greyish with a yellowish spot dorsally on side below centre of dorsal fin and on caudal peduncle, black spots, fading first on vertical fins, caudal fin yellow. Adults generally reddish above, white below with prominent yellow blotches on sides as positioned in large juveniles; fins pink to red; large adults have a conspicuous black margin anteriorly on dorsal fin.

Biology

A very long lived species, living to more than 60 years. A protogynous hermaphrodite, and spawns multiple times in late spring and summer.

Fisheries

Taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries in New South Wales and Western Australia. Also taken by recreational anglers in the west. The Foxfish is also collected for the aquarium industry and is highly valued in the US.

Remarks

The widely used common name for this species "foxfish" was probably adopted from the scientific name vulpinus that was long misapplied to it.  The physical features of this species do not appear to provide a basis for such a reference. The populations from the eastern and western coasts differ somewhat in certain details of their colouration and fin structure and may eventually be recognized as different species.

Etymology

The name frenchii is after Herr French, an assistant of Dr V. Müller who collected many Australian fishes described by Klunzinger.

Species Citation

Cossyphus frenchii Klunzinger, 1880, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien 80(1): 400, King Georges Sound, Western Australia

Author

Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017

Foxfish, Bodianus frenchii (Klunzinger 1879)

References


Cossington S, Hesp SA, Hall NG, Potter IC. 2010. Growth and reproductive biology of the foxfish Bodianus frenchii, a very long-lived and monandric protogynous hermaphroditic labrid. Journal of Fish Biology 77(3): 600-626. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02706.x.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. 544 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 2001. Descriptions of two new species of Bodianus (Perciformes: Labridae) from Australasian waters. N.Z. J. Zool. 28: 407-416.

Gomon, M.F. 2006. A revision of the labrid fish genus Bodianus with descriptions of eight new species. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 30: 1-133. 

Gomon, M.F. &. Russell, B.C. 1994. Family Labridae. pp. 675-699 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. 180 pp.

Klunzinger, C.B. 1879. Die v. Müller'sche Sammlung Australischer Fische. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 16(22): 254-261.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

Macleay, W.J. 1878. Descriptions of some new fishes from Port Jackson and King George's Sound. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(1): 33-37 pls 2-5 (as Trochocopus rufus)

Russell, B., Choat, H., Pollard, D. & Fairclough, D. 2010. Bodianus frenchii. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. . Downloaded on 6 June 2012.

Ryan, S. & Clarke, K. 2005. Ecological assessment of the Queensland marine aquarium fish fishery. A report to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage on the ecologically sustainable management of the Queensland marine aquarium harvest fishery.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37384057

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Near Threatened

Depth:15-80 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational & aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:48 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map