Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)

Other Names: Japanese Bream, West Australian Bream, Western Yellowfin Seabream, Western Yellow-finned Bream, Yellowfin Bream, Yellowfin Seabream

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni, at Cape Preston, Western Australia, May 2016. Source: Tony Ayling / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial


A seabream with vivid yellow pelvic, anal and caudal fins, a wide black posterior margin on the caudal fin, and a weak diffuse dark blotch at origin of lateral line.

This species was previously misidentified in Australia as Acanthopagrus latus, which occurs in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.  

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Acanthopagrus morrisoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/675

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, north to Weipa, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. Inhabits estuaries, coastal waters and rarely, the lower freshwater reaches of rivers; often feeds on tidal flats. Juveniles in Shark Bay, Western Australia, shelter amongst mangroves, then move to inshore rocky habitats as they mature, whereas they usually remain in mangrove areas in the Dampier region.


Dorsal fin XI, 10-12; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 15-16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Gill rakers 4–6 + 8–10 = 12–15; Lateral line scales (pored) 42-45.

Body moderately deep, 2.0-2.4 times in SL; first soft dorsal-fin ray slightly longer than last dorsal-fin spine; scale rows between fifth dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line 3.5; scale rows above lateral line 4.5, scale rows below 11.5; short second anal-fin spine, ordinary 1.1-1.3.


Head and body silvery grey with a golden sheen and a slight greenish hue reflected; belly pale silver, very weak darker streaks along longitudinal rows of scales; dorsal fin greyish silver to hyaline or yellowish dark grey, pelvic, anal and caudal fins vivid transparent yellow, anal fins lacking black streaks near anal-fin base on inter-radial membranes between anal-fin rays; pectoral fins somewhat yellowish hyaline, darker dorsally, often a very weak blotch at origin and axil of pectoral fin (Iwatsuki 2013).


Feeds on sesarmid crabs and small gastropods.


Acanthopagrus morrisoni is protandrous hermaphrodite, changing sex from male to female at about 35 cm. In Shark Bay, WA, the species forms spawning aggregations and spawns a limited number of times during the short spawning period from late winter to early spring.


An important recreational and commercial species, with a fishery in Shark Bay, Western Australia. The species is taken in the Beach Seine and Mesh Net Fishery and in the Shark Bay Scalefish fishery, which both use beach seine and haul net gear.
Also a popular angling species taken on hook and line.


The species is named morrisoni in honour of Sue Morrison (Western Australian Museum), who collected the type specimens and tissue samples for the present molecular study. Morrison’s assistance over several years has greatly aided the understanding of the western yellowfin seabream in northwestern Western Australia.

Species Citation

Acanthopagrus morrisoni Iwatsuki, 2013, J. Fish. Biol. 83: 79, fig 4(a). Type locality: Hooley Creek, Ashburton River, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Allen, G. 1999. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

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. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae, Lethrinidae. pp. 2990-3050 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. (as Acanthopagrus latus, in part)

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Hesp, S.A. 2003. Biology of two species of sparid on the west coast of Australia 2003. PhD Thesis, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Hesp, S.A., Potter, I.C. & Hall, N.G. 2004. Reproductive biology and protandrous hermaproditism in Acanthopagrus latus. Environmental Biology of Fishes 70: 257–272. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:EBFI.0000033344.21383.00 (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Hsu, T.-H., Guillén Madrid, A.G., Burridge, C.P., Cheng, H.-Y. & Gwo, J.-C. 2011. Resolution of the Acanthopagrus black seabream complex based on mitochondrial and amplified fragment-length polymorphism analyses. Journal of Fish Biology 79: 1182–1192. (Australian records as Acanthopagrus latus)

Iwatsuki, Y. 2013. Review of the Acanthopagrus latus complex (Perciformes: Sparidae) with descriptions of three new species from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology 83(1): 64–95, https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12151

Iwatsuki, Y. & Carpenter, K.E. 2006. Acanthopagrus taiwanensis, a new sparid fish (Perciformes), with comparisons to Acanthopagrus berda (Forsskål, 1775) and other nominal species ofAcanthopagrus. Zootaxa 1202: 1-19. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Iwatsuki, Y., Russell, B. & Pollard, D. 2014. Acanthopagrus morrisoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T47166619A49611371. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T47166619A49611371.en. Downloaded on 21 April 2021.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Munro, I.S.R. 1949. Revision of Australian silver breams, Mylio and Rhabdosargus. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 12(4): 182-223 figs 1-5 pls 16-23 (as Mylio latus)

Paradice, W.E. & Whitley, G.P. 1927. Northern Territory fishes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 9(1): 76-106 figs 1-3 pls 11-15 (p. 88, misidentified as Sparus berda)

Platell, M.E., Ang, H.P., Hesp, S.A. & Potter, L.C. 2007. Comparisons between the influences of habitat, body size and season on the dietary composition of the sparid Acanthopagrus latus in a large marine embayment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 72(4): 626-64. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Taylor, W.R. 1964. Fishes of Arnhem Land. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land 4: 44-307 figs 1-68 (as Caeso latus)

Travers, M.J. & Potter I.C. 2002. Factors influencing the characteristics of fish assemblages in a large subtropical marine embayment. Journal of Fish Biology 61: 764-784. (as Acanthopagrus latus)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37353012


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Recreational & commercial fish

Habitat:Estuaries, coastal waters

Max Size:50 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map