Arrowfin Bigeye, Priacanthus sagittarius Starnes 1988

Other Names: Arrow Bulleye, Robust Bigeye

Arrowfin Bigeye, Priacanthus sagittarius. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A silvery to reddish bigeye, often with two faint red bars and blotches on sides, a pink to bright red iris, sometimes faint pale spots on the fins and a dark blotch at the pelvic-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Priacanthus sagittarius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024,

Arrowfin Bigeye, Priacanthus sagittarius Starnes 1988

More Info


Northwest of Roebuck Bay, Western Australia, and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands in the Timor Sea, to northwest of Darwin, Northern Territory; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific (east to Samoa).
A solitary species that inhabits sheltered reefs, caves, under coral plates, over rocky bottoms and in open areas.


Dorsal fin X, 13-14; Anal fin III, 13-15. 
Body oval; eye very large; mouth large, oblique; preopercular spine short, broad.


In 2010, this species was found to have invaded the Mediterranean Sea.


The specific name is from the Latin sagittarius (= of arrows), in reference to the “overall posterior configuration of this species, resulting from the pointed dorsal and anal fins and blunt caudal fin, which resemble the fletching and butt of an arrow.”

Species Citation

Priacanthus sagittarius Starnes 1988, Bulletin of Marine Science 43(2): 1178, figs 3, 5, 8, 12, 18, pl. 3e-g. Type locality: south coast of Sumatra, Indonesia [6°13´00"S, 104°38´45"E].


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Arrowfin Bigeye, Priacanthus sagittarius Starnes 1988


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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

Carpenter, K.E., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Priacanthus sagittarius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69545545A69545854. Accessed on 05 June 2023.

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. (as Priacanthus sp. 1)

Goren, M., Stern, N., Bella, S. G., Diamant, A. 2010. First record of the Indo-Pacific arrow bulleye Priacanthus sagittarius Starnes, 1988 in the Mediterranean Sea. Aquatic Invasions 5(1): 45-47.

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Seaford Australia : Zoonetics, Australia, pp. 304-622.

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

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Priacanthus sp. 1)

Starnes, W.C. 1988. Revision, phylogeny and biogeographic comments on the circumtropical marine percoid fish family Priacanthidae. Bulletin of Marine Science 43(2): 117-203 See ref online

Starnes, W.C. 1999. Family Priacanthidae. pp. 2590-2601 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37326009

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:10-250 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:35 cm TL

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