Castelnau's Jawfish, Opistognathus castelnaui Bleeker 1860


Castelnau's Jawfish, Opistognathus castelnaui, at Triton Bay, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

Summary:

A yellowish jawfish with a reticulated pattern forming 3-4 irregular brown stripes and indistinct narrow vertical brown lines, and large dark brown blotches along the base of the dorsal fin.

Jawfishes excavate large elaborate burrows, using their enormous jaws to scoop out sand and rubble.

Males incubate the eggs in their mouths.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Opistognathus castelnaui in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3488

Castelnau's Jawfish, Opistognathus castelnaui Bleeker 1860

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australian waters from just north of Cartier Island, off Western Australia, and from the northern Great Barrier Reef to at least the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical western Pacific - Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, north to the Ryukyu Island, Japan. Inhabits burrows in 1-70 metres.

Features

Dorsal fin XI, 14; Anal fin III, 14; Pectoral fin 19-21; Oblique scale rows ~90-110; Gill rakers (total first arch) 28-35. ;

Posterior end of upper jaw produced as a thin flexible lamina.

Colour

Yellowish with a reticulated pattern formed form 3-4 irregular brown stripes and indistinct narrow vertical brown lines;dorsal fin with large dark brown blotches along base; membranes inside upper jaw with one or two conspicuous black stripes.

Feeding

Feed mostly on zooplankton.  

Biology

Jawfishes form monogamous pairs, with males and females living in separate but adjacent burrows. Spawning occurs within the burrow following an elaborate courtship. The male incubates the egg mass in his mouth for up to a week before the larvae hatch.

Larvae spend 2-3 weeks in the plankton before settling back to the reef.

Etymology

Opistognathus is from the Greek opisthe meaning 'behind', and gnathos meaning 'jaw' in reference to the very long jaws. The species is named for the French ichthyologist Francois-Louis de Castelnau.

Species Citation

Opisthognathus castelnaui Bleeker, 1860, Acta Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Indo-Neêrlandicae 8(7): 45. Type locality: Bulucomba, Makassar, Sulawesi (as Celebes), Indonesia.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Castelnau's Jawfish, Opistognathus castelnaui Bleeker 1860

References


Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research, Perth Australia.

Bleeker, P. 1860. Dertiende bijdrage tot de kennis der vischfauna van Celebes (Visschen van Bonthain, Badjoa, Sindjai, Lagoesi en Pompenoea). Acta Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Indo-Neêrlandicae 8(7): 1-60.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2009. Three new species of Indo-Pacific jawfishes (Opistognathus: Opistognathidae), with the posterior end of the upper jaw produced as a thin flexible lamina. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 15: 69-108.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & G.R. Allen. 2007. Opistognathus rufilineatus, a new species of jawfish (Opistognathidae) from the Bird's Head Peninsula, western New Guinea. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 13(1): 35-42

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Yoshino, T. 1985. Review of Japanese jawfishes of the genusOpistognathus (Opistognathidae) with description of two new species. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 32(1): 18-27 figs 1-4

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37388012

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:1-73 m

Habitat:Reef associated, in burrows

Max Size:28 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map