Pearl Perch, Glaucosoma scapulare Macleay 1881

Other Names: Bull-eye, Epaulette-fish, Nannygai, Pearly

A Pearl Perch, Glaucosoma scapulare, at North Rock, northern New South Wales, March 2014. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A silvery-grey pearl perch with a dark blotch at rear of the dorsal-fin base, a small dark spot on inner pectoral-fin base, a small golden brown spot on each scale forming narrow lines along the side, and a dusky-brown bar through the eye in juveniles.
The common name Pearl Perch is from the distinctive bony shield at the top of the gill opening.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Glaucosoma scapulare in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Pearl Perch, Glaucosoma scapulare Macleay 1881

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia, from Rockhampton, Queensland, to Sydney, New South Wales.
Often occurs on deeper reefs in small to medium-sized schools.


Dorsal fin VIII, 11; Anal fin III, 9. 
Supraclavicle (shoulder-bone) forms a prominent bony shield.


The dark vertical band through the eye may disappear with an increase in size.


Pearl Perch attain sexual maturity between 25 and 35 cm TL, and live to about 30 years of age.


The Pearl Perch is taken on hook and line by commercial and recreational fishers, and is a highly valued food fish. Size and bag limits apply in both Queensland and New South Wales.

Species Citation

Glaucosoma scapulare Macleay 1881, Proc. Linn Soc N. S. W. 1 5(3): 334, pl. 13.Type locality: Port Jackson, NSW.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Pearl Perch, Glaucosoma scapulare Macleay 1881


Campbell, M.J., McLennan, M.F. & Sumpton, W.D. 2014. Short-term survival of discarded pearl perch (Glaucosoma scapulare Ramsay, 1881) caught by hook-and-line in Queensland, Australia. Fisheries Research 151: 206-212.

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

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762. See ref at BHL

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Macleay, W.J. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 1. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 5(3): 302-444. See ref at BHL

McKay, R.J. 1997. FAO Species Catalogue. Pearl Perches of the World (Family Glaucosomatidae. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 17. 1-26 pp.

McKay, R.J. 2001. Family Glaucosomatidae. pp. 3205-3209 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.

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp.

Stewart, J., Sumpton, W., Lockett, M. & Hughes, J.M. 2013. Age‐based demographics of the pearl perch Glaucosoma scapulare (Ramsay, 1881). Journal of Applied Ichthyology 29(4): 801-807.

Sumpton, W., Campbell, M., McLennan, M., Brown, I., Fraser, K., Wesche, S. & Kerrigan, B. 2013. Addressing knowledge gaps for the sustainable management of rocky reef fisheries in Queensland. FRDC 2008/015 Final Report, 256 pp.  See ref online 

Sumpton, W., O'Neill, M.F., Campbell, M., McLennan, M., Campbell, A. & Stewart, J. 2017. Stock assessment of the Queensland and New South Wales pearl perch (Glaucosoma scapulare) fishery. Technical Report. State of Queensland, 87 pp. See ref online, open access

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37320003

Depth:5-90 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Max Size:70 cm TL

Max Size:Reef associated


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CAAB distribution map