Smallscale Bullseye, Pempheris compressa (White 1790)

Other Names: Bullseye, Deep Bullseye, Small-scale Bullseye

A Small-scale Bullseye, Pempheris compressa, at North West Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


Endemic to eastern Australia, the Smallscale Bullseye is bronze to coppery-brown with a dusky bar behind the head from the lateral line through the pectoral-fin base, a yellowish stripe along the lateral line, a blackish leading edge to the dorsal fin and a brownish anal-fin. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pempheris compressa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Smallscale Bullseye, Pempheris compressa (White 1790)

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Endemic to southeastern Australia from Byron Bay, New South Wales, to GAbo Island, Victoria. Adults occur in large schools on offshore reefs, whereas juveniles inhabit rocky reefs along the coast and in the outer parts of estuaries.


Records from New Zealand are misidentifications (Mooi 2000).

Species Citation

Sparus compressus White, 1790, Voy. New South Wales: 267, pl. 53(2). Type locality: between Botany Bay and Broken Bay, New South Wales.


Dianne J. Bray

Smallscale Bullseye, Pempheris compressa (White 1790)


Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. 544 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hoese, D.F. in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 2006. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing : Australia Part 1, pp. xxiv 1-670; Part 2, pp. xxi 671-1472; Part 3, pp. xxi 1473-2178.

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

Jubb, R.N. 1977. A revision of the Australian fishes of the family Pempheridae (Pisces : Perciformes). Unpublished Honours Thesis, Macquarie Univeristy, Sydney 62 pp. 14 figs.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Mooi, R. 2000. Review of New Zealand bullseyes (Perciformes: Pempheridae). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 34: 87-102.

Mooi, R.D. &. Jubb, R.N. 1996. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Pempheris (Pisces: Pempheridae) from Australia, with a provisional key to Australian species. Records of the Australian Museum 48(2): 117-130.

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

White, J. 1790. Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of non-descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions. London : Debrett 299 pp. 65 pls.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37357008


Depth:20-36 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map