Black-ear Javelin, Pomadasys trifasciatus Fowler 1937

Other Names: Blackeared Grunt

Black-ear Javelin, Pomadasys trifasciatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A uniform silvery-grey grunt or with several indistinct stripes along the side. Juveniles have three oblique dark stripes, the middle stripe broad, that fade and become absent with growth, a large dark brownish-black spot on the gill cover, and no markings on the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Pomadasys trifasciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

Black-ear Javelin, Pomadasys trifasciatus Fowler 1937

More Info


Karatha, Western Australia, to off Bowen, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific: Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Thailand to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, north to the Philippines and southwards to northern Australia, from Karatha in the west to Bowen in the east.
Inhabits estuaries, river mouths, bays and inshore coastal waters, in soft bottom areas and around reefs.


Dorsal fin XII-XIII, 12-14; Anal fin III, 7; Lateral line pores 43-50; Circumpeduncular scales 19-23, 8-10 above lateral line, 9-11 below.
Body depth 2.6–2.9 in SL; head blunt, upper profile convex; mouth small; maxilla reaching to anterior margin of eye or pupil; chin with 2 pores followed by a pit containing a pore on each side; jaw teeth villiform (brush-like). Second anal-fin spine about equal to or shorter than length of snout plus eye diameter; caudal fin slightly emarginate.


Taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries.


The specific name is from the Latin tri- (= three) and fasciatus (= banded), in reference to the three obliques stripes along the side in juveniles.

Species Citation

Pomadasys trifasciatus Fowler 1937, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 89: 235, fig. 234. Type locality: Paknam, Thailand.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Black-ear Javelin, Pomadasys trifasciatus Fowler 1937


Fowler, H.W. 1937. Zoological results of the third De Schauensee Siamese Expedition. Part 8. Fishes obtained in 1936. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 89: 125-264 figs 1-300 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

McKay, R.J. 2001. Haemulidae. pp. 2961-2989 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.

Psomadakis, P., Thein,H., Russell, B.C. & Tun, M.T. 2020. Field identification guide to the living marine resources of Myanmar. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. FAO, and Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Rome: i-xvii + 1-694, pls. 1-58.

Ramm, D.C., Pender, P.J., Willing, R.S. & Buckworth, R.C. 1990. Large-scale spatial patterns of abundance within the assemblage of fish caught by prawn trawlers in Northern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41(1): 79-95.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37350008

Habitat:Estuaries, bays, coastal waters

Max Size:15 cm TL

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