Australian Barred Tilefish, Branchiostegus serratus Dooley & Paxton 1975

Australian Barred Tilefish, Branchiostegus serratus. Source: Eric Frei via Morgan Grant / FishBase. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A tilefish with a series of 18-19 dark bluish-violet wedge-shaped bars along the upper side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Branchiostegus serratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Australian Barred Tilefish, Branchiostegus serratus Dooley & Paxton 1975

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Endemic to eastern Australia, from off Innisfail off Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, to Lake Illawarra, New South Wales.


Dorsal fin VI-VII, 15; Anal fin II, 12-13; Pectoral fin 17-18; Caudal fin (principal rays) 17; Gill rakers 18-20; Lateral-line (pored scales) 67-72 (+ 2 on tail), scales above lateral line 7-10, scales below lateral line 20-25; Vertebrae 10+14.


Freshly caught specimens: silvery-white with some overlying yellow-orange and 18-19 dark bluish-violet wedge-shaped vertical bars, bars shorter anteriorly and posteriorly; iris golden; black area on dorsal margin of orbit; cheeks silvery-white with an oblique dark band from preoperculum nearly to orbit; snout yellow-orange with black area on medial portion of upper lip; dorsal head colored as snout with overlying grey hue; predorsal ridge yellow; dorsal-fin membrane dusky, spinous portion dusky with narrow yellow margin; some diffuse yellow in front of first ray and elliptical yellow spots along dorsal margin between each ray, decreasing between rays 8 and 9, disappearing between rays 12 and 13, last ray dusky; anal-fin membrane translucent; pectoral fin opaque with black margin on first and second rays; pelvic fin translucent; caudal fin base orange, central portion yellow with medial black area; medial posterior edge of caudal, dorsal, and anal lobes black.


Feeds on fishes and a range of benthic invertebrates including molluscs bivalves and gastropods), crustaceans (crabs, amphipods and stomatopods), and polychaete worms.


Taken as bycatch in commercial trawls, and marketed fresh.


The specific name is from the Latin serratus (= saw-shaped, serrated) in reference to the series of dark body bars along the upper side.

Species Citation

Branchiostegus serratus Dooley & Paxton 1975, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 99(3): 151, fig. 1. Type locality: Holotype AM I.16207–004, off Newcastle, New South Wale, via Sydney Fish Market.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Australian Faunal Directory

Australian Barred Tilefish, Branchiostegus serratus Dooley & Paxton 1975


Dooley, J.K. 1978. Systematics and biology of the tilefishes (Perciformes: Branchiostegidae and Malacanthidae) with descriptions of two new species. NOAA Technical Report NMFS Circular No. 411: i-v + 1-78 See ref online

Dooley, J.K. 1999. Family Branchiostegidae. pp. 2630-2648 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.

Dooley, J.K. & Kailola, P.J. 1988. Four new tilefishes from the northeastern Indian Ocean, with a review of the genus Branchiostegus. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(3): 247-260

Dooley, J.K. & Paxton, J.R. 1975. A new species of tilefish (family Branchiostegidae) from eastern Australia. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 99(3): 151-156 fig. 1 See ref at BHL

Hiramatsu, W. & Yoshino, T. 2012. A new tilefish, Branchiostegus okinawaensis (Perciformes: Branchiostegidae), from Okinawa Island, southern Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science (Ser. A) Supplement No. 6: 41-49.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37331005

Depth:60-360 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:29 cm SL


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