Darwin Jawfish, Opistognathus darwiniensis Macleay 1878

A Darwin Jawfish, Opistognathus darwiniensis, from Darwin, Northern Territory. Source: Michael Hammer / Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. License: All rights reserved

A yellowish-brown jawfish covered in dark brown spots, those on head and nape tiny and close-set, spots on sides larger blotches, fins yellow with distinct black bands except yellowish pectoral fins with rows of tiny dark spots, and an oblong black blotch on the spinous dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Opistognathus darwiniensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/3489

Darwin Jawfish, Opistognathus darwiniensis Macleay 1878

More Info


Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, to North Oxley Island off the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory.


The species is named for the type locality, Darwin, Northern Territory.

Species Citation

Opisthognathus darwiniensis Macleay 1878, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 2(4): 355, pl. 9(3). Type locality: Port Darwin, Northern Territory.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Darwin Jawfish, Opistognathus darwiniensis Macleay 1878


Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

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

Macleay, W.J. 1878. The fishes of Port Darwin. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 2(4): 344-367 pls 7-10 See ref at BHL

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1999. Family Opistognathidae. pp. 2588-2589 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.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2004. Descriptions of Six new species of jawfishes (Opistognathidae: Opistognathus) from Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 209-224 https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1422

Whitley, G.P. 1930. Ichthyological miscellanea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 10(1): 8-31

Quick Facts

Habitat:Reef associated, in burrows

Max Size:17 cm SL


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