Red-Lined Jawfish, Opistognathus rufilineatus Smith-Vaniz & Allen 2007

A Red-Lined Jawfish, from West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved

A yellowish-brown jawfish with scattered spots and lines on the head, and narrow reddish-brown stripes along the body scale rows. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Opistognathus rufilineatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Nov 2023,

Red-Lined Jawfish, Opistognathus rufilineatus Smith-Vaniz & Allen 2007

More Info


Mermaid Reef area west of Broome, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in West Papua, Indonesia. Inhabits silty rubble areas near reefs.


Jawfishes form monogamous pairs, with males and females living in separate but adjacent burrows. Spawning occurs within the burrow following an elaborate courtship. The male incubates the egg mass in his mouth for up to a week before the larvae hatch. Larvae spend 2-3 weeks in the plankton before settling back to the reef.

Species Citation

Opistognathus rufilineatus Smith-Vaniz & Allen 2007, Aqua, J. Ichthyol. Aquat. Biol. 13(1): 37, figs 2-5. Type locality: North Triton Bay, Barat Province, Papua, Indonesia, 34°47'01"S, 134°09'55"E. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Red-Lined Jawfish, Opistognathus rufilineatus Smith-Vaniz & Allen 2007


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. and G.R. Allen, 2007. Opistognathus rufilineatus, a new species of jawfish (Opistognathidae) from the Bird's Head Peninsula, western New Guinea. aqua Int. J. Ichthyol. 13(1):35-42.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37388019

Behaviour:Reef associated, in burrows

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:2-109 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm TL

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