Eastern Orange Perch, Lepidoperca pulchella (Waite 1899)

Other Names: Lovely Perch, Orange Perch, Reef Perch, Reefies

A male Eastern Orange Perch, Lepidoperca pulchella, from off Lorne, Victoria, June 2019, depth 30 m. Source: Keith Miller / Lorne Aquatic & Angling Club. License: All rights reserved

A reddish perch becoming orange on the sides and often paler below, with yellow fins, a pale pink stripe from the upper jaw to the lower part of the gill cover, and a dark mark on each scale forming longitudinal lines along the back. Males have a large black blotch at the front of the soft part of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Lepidoperca pulchella in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4380

Eastern Orange Perch, Lepidoperca pulchella (Waite 1899)

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Endemic to south-eastern Australia, from Byron Bay, New South Wales, to off Lorne, Victoria, and around Tasmania. Inhabits reefs at depths to 440 m.


Dorsal fin X, 16–17; Anal fin III, 7–8; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 16–17; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 42–46  
Body depth 36–43% SL; head length 34–39% SL; eye diameter 28–39% HL; 5 scales between lateral line and dorsal fin; spinous part of dorsal fin covered with scales basally; pectoral fin elongate.


Red above with dark mark in the centre of each scale forming longitudinal lines along back, orange on sides; fins yellow; males with large black blotch at forward end of soft part of dorsal fin.


Occasionally taken as bycatch in commercial trawls, and also on hook and line.

Species Citation

Anthias pulchellus Waite 1899, Mem. Aust. Mus. 4: 77, pl. 12. Type locality: off Wollongong, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Eastern Orange Perch, Lepidoperca pulchella (Waite 1899)


Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Families Serranidae, Callanthiidae. pp. 528-548 figs 469-485 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

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

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Trawl fish from temperate waters of Australia. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research, Tasmania. 492 pp.

Roberts, C.D. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 19. A new species of Lepidoperca (Serranidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 83-84. DOI https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1987.48.19, open access

Roberts, C.D. 1989. A revision of New Zealand and Australian orange perches (Teleostei; Serranidae) previously referred to Lepidoperca pulchella (Waite) with description of a new species of Lepidoperca from New Zealand. Journal of Natural History 23(3): 557-589 https://doi.org/10.1080/00222938900770321

Roberts, C.D. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Polyprionidae, Serranidae and Callanthiidae. pp. 534-549 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Waite, E.R. 1899. Scientific results of the trawling expedition of H.M.C.S. Thetis off the coast of New South Wales. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 4: 1-132 figs 1-10 pls 1-319 See ref onlineopen access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311001

Depth:30-440 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:28 cm TL


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