Australian Tilefish, Branchiostegus australiensis Dooley & Kailola 1988

Illustration of an Australian Tilefish, Branchiostegus australiensis. Source: FAO / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A red tilefish becoming silvery white on the sides and belly, 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Branchiostegus australiensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023,

Australian Tilefish, Branchiostegus australiensis Dooley & Kailola 1988

More Info


Off shark Bay to off the North West Cape, Western Australia, and the Arafura Sea, NNE of Cape Don, Northern Territory.  The species may also occur in Summatra, Indonesia. Inhabits soft sediment areas on the continental shelf.


Dorsal fin VII, 15; Anal fin II, 12; Pectoral fin 18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin (principal rays) 9+8 = 17; Caudal fin (procurrent rays) 12+10; Cheek scales from preopercular angle to orbital rim 8; Opercular scale rows 7; Scales above lateral line ~ 7 (some lost); Scales below lateral line 23; lateral line (pored scales) to hypural crease 48, +3 on tail; Gill rakers 9+14 (two are rudimentary); Vertebrae 10+14.


Caudal-fin margin double emarginate, the fin with dark lower lobe and 2 central yellow stripes; 2 silvery or golden areas extending from suborbital rim to near upper jaw; snout top of head, and upper body red; sides and belly silvery white; a black upper margin along pectoral and soft dorsal fins; upper spinous dorsal-fin membrane with a thin yellow margin; raised predorsal ridge black. 


The species is named australiensis in reference to Australia, the country of the type-locality.

Species Citation

Branchiostegus australiensis Dooley & Kailola 1988, Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(3): 253, fig. 2H, 3. Type locality: south-east of Shark Bay, Western Australia, 26°21'S, 112°35'E, depth 164-170 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Australian Tilefish, Branchiostegus australiensis Dooley & Kailola 1988


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. & Iwatsuki, Y. 2012. A new speces of deepwater tilefish (Percoidea: Branchiostegidae) from the Philippines, with a brief discussion of the status of tilefish systematics. Zootaxa 3249: 31-38

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 B. sp. cf. argentatus)

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. 6: 41-49.

Williams, A., Last, P.R., Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. 1996. Species composition and checklist of the demersal ichthyofauna of the continental slope off Western Australia (20–35º). Records of the Western Australian Museum 18: 135-155

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37331002

Depth:165-230 m

Habitat:Soft sediment areas

Max Size:36 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map