Blacktip Morwong, Cheilodactylus francisi Burridge 2004

A Blacktip Morwong,Cheilodactylus francisi, at Comets Hole, Lord Howe Island Lagoon. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Body whitish with dark diagonal bands - one through the eye to the pectoral-fin base, one from the nape to the pectoral-fin base, a broad band from before the dorsal fin to the pelvic fin base, a broad band from behind the 4th dorsal-fin spine to the lower caudal fin lobe; anal fin white, upper caudal-fin lobe with a black tip, pelvic fins black.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cheilodactylus francisi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Nov 2018,

Blacktip Morwong, Cheilodactylus francisi Burridge 2004

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Recorded from the Lord Howe Rise, Lord Howe Island, Middleton Reef, and the Kermadec Islands. Probably also misidentified as Cheilodactylus vittatus from New Caledonia and Norfolk Island based on live photographs, and Elizabeth Reef on visual observations.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin XVI-XVII, 31-34; Anal fin III, 8; Lateral line scales 64-66; Gill rakers 5-6+15-16, often 5+15.

Body depth 2.83 in SL (2.57-2.76); pelvic fins reaching but not extending beyond the anus, 5.55 in SL (4.55-5.81); prominent bony knobs on the prefrontals and above the upperlip.

Species Citation

Cheilodactylus (Goniistius) francisi Burridge, 2004, Rec. Aust. Mus. 56: 232, fig. 1. Type locality: off Phillip Point, Lord Howe Island [31°32'S, 159°04'E]


Dianne J. Bray

Blacktip Morwong, Cheilodactylus francisi Burridge 2004


Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 (misidentified as Goniistius gibbosus)

Burridge, C.P. 2004. Cheilodactylus (Goniistius) francisi, a new species of morwong (Perciformes: Cirrhitoidea) from the southwest Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 231-234.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2. (as Cheilodactylus vittatus)

Francis, M. 2001. Coastal Fishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Reed Publishing (NZ) 3, 103 pp. (as Cheilodactylus sp.)

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp. (as Cheilodactylus vittatus)

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp. (as Goniistius vittatus)

Randall, J.E. 2001. Cirrhitidae, Cheilodactylidae. pp. 3321-3330 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. (as Goniistius vittatus)

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp. (as Goniistius francisi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37377015

Depth:6-88 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:28 cm SL

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