Orangelined Wirrah, Acanthistius paxtoni Hutchins & Kuiter 1982

Other Names: Orange-lined Wirrah, Striated Wirrah

Orangelined Wirrah, Acanthistius paxtoni. Source: Barry Hutchins / Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved

A rare greyish-brown rockcod with six poorly defined dark cross bars on the body and pale brownish-orange wavy lines or striations and spots on the side. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Acanthistius paxtoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024,

Orangelined Wirrah, Acanthistius paxtoni Hutchins & Kuiter 1982

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Seal Rocks to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. The holotype was collected in a fish trap from a depth of 64 m, and an individual was collected in Watsons Bay, Sydney Harbour.


Dorsal fin XIII, 15; Anal fin Ill, 8; Pectoral fin 18-19; Lateral line pores to caudal-fin base 51-53; Vertical scale rows from upper origin of gill opening to base of caudal fin 111-114; Scales in diagonal row from upper origin of gill opening to base of first dorsal spine 26-28; Scales in diagonal row from origin of first anal spine to lateral line 50-57; Gill rakers (including rudiments) on lower half of first gill arch 14-16.


Colour of freshly caught holotype: head and body pale greyish-brown with many brownish-orange wavy lines, those on upper half of body extending obliquely to dorsal fin base and breaking into spots posteriorly, those on lower half also contracting to spots; lines on head radiate irregularly from posterior half of eye; body with six poorly defined dark cross bars, first from base of first dorsal spine to opercular flap, last across base of caudal fin; two indistinct broad dark bars radiate from posterior half of eye, upper one almost to uppermost opercular spine, lower to above angle of preoperculum; snout and dorsal surface of head dark brown with indications of brownish-orange spots; upper portion of maxillary groove with a dusky to brownish-orange streak; throat and breast pinkish-grey; all fins dusky, the dorsal and pectorals with irregular faint brownish-orange markings; with the exception of the spinous dorsal, all fins possess narrow pale distal borders (Hutchins 1981).


Named after Dr John R. Paxton, former Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum, for his contributions to Australian Ichthyology.

Species Citation

Acanthistius paxtoni Hutchins & Kuiter, 1982, Rec. W. Aust. Mus.10(2): 128, fig. 1. Type locality: Seal Rocks, 32°26'S, 152°32'E, New South Wales, Australia, depth 64 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Orangelined Wirrah, Acanthistius paxtoni Hutchins & Kuiter 1982


Hutchins, J.B. & Kuiter, R.H. 1982. A new species of Acanthistius (Pisces : Serranidae) from eastern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 10(2): 127-131 fig. 1 See ref online

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their relatives. A comprehensive guide to selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 1, 216 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311133

Depth:3-64 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:260+ cm SL


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