Sharp-toothed Grunter, Syncomistes carcharus Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

Sharp-toothed Grunter, Syncomistes carcharus. Source: Matthew Le Feuvre & James Shelley, University of Melbourne / Museums Victoria. License: All rights reserved

A rare grunter with a dull golden body becoming paler below, sometimes 5-6 dark wavy stripes along the sides that rapidly fade on capture,  silvery or gold stripe below the eye, a dark blotch on the base of the anal fin, and darker scale margins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Syncomistes carcharus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2019,

Sharp-toothed Grunter, Syncomistes carcharus Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017

More Info


Known only from the area around the junction of Pitta Creek and the Prince Regent River in the upper portion of the Prince Regent River catchment; co-occurs with Syncomistes versicolor.
Inhabits deep backwaters and slow-flowing areas over rocky bottoms with abundant algal growth.


When fresh: body dull gold overall with greenish sheen on head. Body darker dorsally, becomes lighter on the ventral surface. Five to six dark, wavy lines sometimes present on sides of adults: first following base of dorsal sheath; second, running from the anterior of nape to below posterior of soft dorsal ray base; third follows the lateral line ending on dorsal edge of caudal peduncle; fourth, from supracleithrum to middle of caudal base; fifth, running between the largest opercular spine and ventral edge of caudal peduncle; sixth running from dorsal edge of pectoral fin base to anus. Presence of lines highly variable and fading quickly once fish are removed from water or after death. Juvenile colours unknown. Anal fin with a basal blotch extending posteriorly on anterior rays. Caudal fin membranes dull gold. Dorsal fin membranes dull gold with dusky blotches. Pelvic fins dusky, pectoral fins clear. A silvery or gold stripe running below eye. Scales on body have a dark posterior band of pigmentation.


The specific name carcharus is Latin for sharp teeth, in reference to the robust, pointed teeth of this species, relative to other species of Syncomistes.

Species Citation

Symcomistes carcharus Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017, Zootaxa 4367(1): 37, Figs 12, 13. Type locality: Upper Prince Regent at confluence with Pitta Creek, Prince Regent River, Western Australia, 15° 50' 56.82'' S, 125° 39' 0.41''


Bray, D.J. 2017

Sharp-toothed Grunter, Syncomistes carcharus Shelley, Delaval & Le Feuvre 2017


Shelley, J.J. 2016. Evolution and biogeography of Australian tropical freshwater fishes. PhD Thesis. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, 273 pp. (as Syncomistes sp. 5)

Shelley, J.J., Delaval, A. & Le Feuvre, M.C. 2017. A revision of the grunter genus Syncomistes (Teleostei, Terapontidae, Syncomistes) with descriptions of seven new species from the Kimberley region, northwestern Australia. Zootaxa 4367(1): 1-103 DOI:  Abstract

Quick Facts


Max Size:17.6 cm SL


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