Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca (Lacépède 1801)

Other Names: Blue Smalltooth Jobfish, Fork-tailed Snapper Fish, Small Toothed Jobfish, Small-tooth Jobfish, Smalltoothed Jobfish, Small-toothed Jobfish, Snapper Jobbyfish

A Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca, at Christmas Island, eastern Indian Ocean (AUS). Source: Gerald R. Allen / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A silvery purplish-brown jobfish becoming silvery bluish-grey below, with dark margins on the preopercle and opercle, and whitish to yellowish-brown fins. Small juveniles have a yellow tail.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Aphareus furca in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024,

Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca (Lacépède 1801)

More Info


Recorded in Australian waters from offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. The species may also occur just north of Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Individuals or small groups inhabit lagoons and seaward reefs, often swimming high above reef slopes, at depths to 300 m.


Dorsal fin X, 10-11 (usually 11); Anal-fin rays III, 8; Pectoral fin 15-16; Gill rakers (first arch) 6-12 + 16-18 = 22-28; Lateral line scales (tubed) 71-74.

Body elongate, slender; mouth large, tail large, deeply forked. Last ray of dorsal and anal fins elongate. Jaw teeth small - disappearing with age. 


A popular gamefish taken mainly with hand lines or vertical longlines.


  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Similar Species

    Differs from the Rusty Jobfish, Aphareus rutilans, in colour and gill raker counts. The Rusty Jobfish is bluish-grey to mauve, pinkish or reddish with yellowish to reddish dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins, and has 49-52 gill rakers on the first gill arch (vs. 22-28 in the Smalltooth Jobfish).


    The specific name is from the Latin furca (= fork), possibly in reference to the large forked tail of this species.

    Species Citation

    Labrus furca Lacépède 1801, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 3: 429, 477, pl. 21(1). Type locality: Mauritius (as Great Ocean).


    Bray, D.J. 2020


    Atlas of Living Australia

    Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca (Lacépède 1801)


    Allen, G.R. 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Snappers of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of lutjanid species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 6. Rome : FAO 208 pp.

    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. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106.

    Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

    Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.
    Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island.Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

    Anderson, W.D., Jr. 1987. Systematics of the fishes of the family Lutjanidae (Perciformes: Percoidei), the snappers. pp. 1-31 in Polovina, J.J. & Ralston, S. (eds). Tropical Snappers and Groupers: Biology and Fisheries Management. Boulder : Westview Press Inc. 659 pp.

    Anderson, W.D. & Allen, G.R. 2001. Lutjanidae. pp. 2840-2918 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

    Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202

    Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219

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

    Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

    Lacépède, B.G. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 3 558 pp. 34 pls. See ref at BHL

    Leis, J.M. & Lee, K. 1994. Larval deveopment in the lutjanid subfamily Etelinae (Pisces): the genera Aphareus, Aprion, Etelis and Pristipomoides. Bulletin of Marine Science 55(1): 46-125.

    Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

    Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

    Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

    Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105.

    Russell, B., Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Lawrence, A., Carpenter, K.E., Myers, R. & Thaman, R. 2016. Aphareus furca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T194289A2309864. Downloaded on 30 October 2017.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37346036

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Danger:May cause ciguatera poisoning

    Depth:1-302 m

    Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:70 cm FL

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