Scott's Shore Eel, Alabes scotti Hutchins & Morrison 2004

Holotype of Scott's Shore-eel, Alabes scotti, from Disaster Bay, New South Wales, CSIRO H.3776-01, 48 mm SL, . Source: Barry Hutchins / Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved

A brownish-orange shore eel with five blackish cross-bars outlined in white on the front part of the body, alternating with white transverse lines between the black bars. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Alabes scotti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2024,

Scott's Shore Eel, Alabes scotti Hutchins & Morrison 2004

More Info


Endemic to southeastern Australia and known from only a few scattered localities: off Araganu Beach, Southside of Bermagui, New South Wales, to Harmers Haven, and possibly west to Portland, Victoria, on the southern coast, and to Maria Island, eastern Tasmania. 
Inhabits sandy bottoms at depths of 20-46 m. Specimens have been collected using benthic sleds and grabs.


Caudal fin 4-5; Vertebrae (total) 68.
Body very elongate, moderately compressed; head very short, acutely pointed, with relatively long, projecting upper lip; eyes small; mouth small; gill opening a very small slit on underside of head, its width less than eye diameter; single sensory pore dorso-posterior to eye; dorsal, anal and caudal fins continuous; dorsal fin low, elongate, originating just behind head, fin rays absent; anal fin very short, almost non-existent, fin rays absent; pelvic fins absent.


Brownish orange, tail a little paler posteriorly; 5 blackish cross bars outlined with white on anterior portion of body, posterior two more brownish, although dorsal edge blackish; five white transverse lines interspersed between black bars, one between each pair of black bars and one anterior to first bar.

Similar Species

Alabes scotti differs from all other Alabes species in having the following combination of characters: thin, elongate body, slender, acute head with relatively long, projecting upper lip, very small gill opening, 4–5 caudal-fin rays, long but very low dorsal fin, almost non-existent anal fin, and unique black and white barred coloration.


The late E.O.G Scott of Launceston, Tasmania, first brought this species to the senior author’s attention in 1982 when he provided a rough illustration of a clingfish he believed was undescribed. Unfortunately he never pursued his plan to describe it and his specimens have not been located. This species, therefore, is named scotti in his honour (Hutchins & Morrison 2004).

Species Citation

Alabes scotti Hutchins & Morrison, 2004, Rec. Aust. Mus. 56 : 155. Type locality: Disaster Bay, New South Wales. 


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Scott's Shore Eel, Alabes scotti Hutchins & Morrison 2004


Hutchins, B. & Morrison, S. 2004. Five new fish species of the genus Alabes (Gobiesocidae: Cheilobranchinae). Records of the Australian Museum 56: 147-158. PDF Open access

Hutchins, J.B. 2008. Family Gobiesocidae. pp. 722-741 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37206035

Depth:20-46 m

Habitat:Sandy bottoms

Max Size:5.5 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map