Blotched Jawfish, Opistognathus latitabundus (Whitley 1937)

Other Names: Spotted Pug

Blotched Jawfish, Opistognathus latitabundus. Source: Sue Morrison / Western Australian Museum. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A brownish jawfish with 5 large dark blotches along the dorsal-fin base, 6 large dark blotches along the upper side, and yellowish pectoral and pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Opistognathus latitabundus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jun 2023,

Blotched Jawfish, Opistognathus latitabundus (Whitley 1937)

More Info


Off  the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, to Mackay, Queensland. Also in Papua New Guinea. Inhabits rubble, sand and mud bottoms.


Jawfishes form monogamous pairs, with males and females living in separate but adjacent burrows. Spawning occurs within the burrow following an elaborate courtship. The male incubates the egg mass in his mouth for up to a week before the larvae hatch. Larvae spend 2-3 weeks in the plankton before settling back to the reef.

Species Citation

Tandya latitabunda Whitley 1937, Rec. Aust. Mus. 20(1): 21, pl. 2(2). Type locality: Port Newry, N of Mackay, QLD.


Dianne J. Bray

Blotched Jawfish, Opistognathus latitabundus (Whitley 1937)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

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.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled fishes of southern Indonesia and northwestern Australia. Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Australia, Directorate General of Fishes, Indonesia, and German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Federal Republic of Germany. 407 pp.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2004. Descriptions of Six New Species of Jawfishes (Opistognathidae: Opistognathus) from Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 209-224. PDF Open access

Whitley, G.P. 1937. Studies in Ichthyology No. 10. Records of the Australian Museum 20(1): 3-24 figs 1-5 pl. 2 PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37388001

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:0-80 m

Habitat:Rubble/sand/mud areas - in burrows

Max Size:30 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map