Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Butter Bream, Butter-Bream, Butterfish, Butter-fish, Diamond Fish, Diamond-fish, Silver Batfish, Silver Moony

A Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus, at Red Rock Estuary, New South Wales, March 2017. Source: Ian Shaw / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


The aptly-named Diamondfish is silvery with black to dusky leading edges and blackish fin tips on the dorsal and anal fins. Small juveniles have a yellow dorsal fin and two vertical bars on the head.

Video of Diamondfish at Pender Bay, Dampier Penninsula, Western Australia.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Monodactylus argenteus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Apr 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/581

Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Inhabit bays and harbours, mangrove estuaries, inshore marine areas, tidal creeks and streams. Common around jetties and wharf pilings. Juveniles common in estuaries, often entering the lower reaches of freshwater streams.


To 25 cm SL (standard length) and 27 cm TL (total length).


Omnivore - feeds on plankton and detritus


Of minor commercial importance.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated
  • Author

    Dianne J. Bray

    Diamondfish, Monodactylus argenteus (Linnaeus 1758)


  • Allen, G.R., S.H. Midgley & M. Allen, 2002. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth, Western Australia. 394 p.
  • Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.
  • Blaber, S.J.M., 1980. Fish of the Trinity Inlet System of North Queensland with notes on the ecology of fish faunas of tropical Indo-Pacific estuaries. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 31: 137-46.
  • Blaber, S.J.M., J.W. Young & M.C. Dunning, 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 36: 247-266.
  • Francis, M.P., 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pac. Sci. 47(2): 136-170.
  • Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.
  • Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.
  • Johnson, J.W., 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.
  • Kottelat, M. 2001. Monodactylidae. pp. 3216-3220 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.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.
  • Kuiter, R.H. & T. Tonozuka, 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Zoonetics, Australia. 304-622 p.
  • Lake, J.S. 1978. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Melbourne : Thomas Nelson 160 pp. 140 figs.
  • Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.
  • Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.
  • Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs.
  • Neira, F.J., A.G. Miskiewicz and T. Trnski, 1998. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. University of Western Australia Press. 474 p.
  • Waite, E.R., 1909. A list of the known fishes of Kermadec and Norfolk Islands, and a comparison with those of Lord Howe Island. Trans. N.Z. Inst. 42:370-383.
  • Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37356002

    Depth:0-18 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:27 cm SL

    Species Image Gallery

    Species Maps

    CAAB distribution map