Pacific Rockcod, Trachypoma macracanthus Günther 1859

Other Names: Pacific Perch, Pacific Rock Cod, Strawberry Cod, Toadstool Groper, Whitedotted Seabass

A Pacific Rockcod, Trachypoma macracanthus, off Malabar West, Lord Howe Island. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


A reddish-orange rockcod with very large eyes, and an irregular pattern of small whitish spots.

A Pacific Rockcod on 9 Mile Reef, Tweed heads, northern New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Trachypoma macracanthus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024,

Pacific Rockcod, Trachypoma macracanthus Günther 1859

More Info


North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, to Narooma, New South Wales; also the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in Southern Oceania - eastern Australia and northern New Zealand to Easter Island and off Chile. 

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs at depths to 50 m.


The specific name macracanthus is from the Greek macros (= large) and acantha (= spine, thorn), presumably in reference to the strong antrorse (forward pointing) spines on the lower part of the preoperculum.

Species Citation

Trachypoma macracanthus Günther, 1859, Cat. Fishes Brit. Mus. 1: 167. Type locality:  Norfolk Island.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Pacific Rockcod, Trachypoma macracanthus Günther 1859


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

Anderson, W.D., Jr. & Heemstra, P.C. 2012. Review of Atlantic and eastern Pacific anthiine fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes: Serranidae), with descriptions of two new genera. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 102(2): i-173

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.
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

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170.

Francis, M.P. 1996. Geographic distribution of marine reef fishes in the New Zealand region. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 30: 35-55.

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. figshare. Collection.

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.

Günther, A. 1859. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Gasterosteidae, Berycidae, Percidae, Aphredoderidae, Pristipomatidae, Mullidae, Sparidae. London : British Museum Vol. 1 524 pp. See ref at BHL

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their relatives. A comprehensive guide to selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 1, 216 pp.

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279.

Pequeño, G. & Lamilla, J. 2000. The littoral fish assemblage of the Desventuradas Islands (Chile) has zoogeographical affinities with the Western Pacific. Global Ecology and Biogeography 9: 431-437.

Roberts, C.D. 2015. 166 Family Serranidae, pp. 1178-1199 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds) The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Waite, E.R. 1909. A list of the known fishes of Kermadec and Norfolk Islands, and a comparison with those of Lord Howe Island. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 42: 370-383. 

Williams, J.T., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Trachypoma macracanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69592095A69592874. Downloaded on 01 February 2021.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311164

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:10-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (ocassionally)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:22 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map