Bastard Trumpeter, Latridopsis forsteri (Castelnau 1872)

Other Names: Copper Moki, Red Bastard Trumpeter, Red, White and Silver Bastard Trumpeter, Silver Bastard Trumpeter, Silver Trumpeter, Trumpeter, White Bastard Trumpeter

Bastard Trumpeter, Latridopsis forsteri, at Eaglehawk, Tasmania, February 2017. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A moderately deep-bodied trumpeter with a narrow tail base, low dorsal and anal fins, a deeply notched dorsal fin, a deeply forked caudal fin, and a bluntly pointed pectoral fin with the upper rays longest. Bastard Trumpeter are silvery-grey with greenish-brown to coppery-coloured markings and irregular lines on head and upper sides, and brownish fins with dark margins.

Video of a Bastard Trumpeter at the wreck of the HMAS Adelaide, off Avoca Beach, New South Wales, 25 March 2013, depth 27 m.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Latridopsis forsteri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 May 2023,

Bastard Trumpeter, Latridopsis forsteri (Castelnau 1872)

More Info


Port Stephens, New South Wales, to Victor Harbor, South Australia, and around Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand.
Large adults usually form small schools on deeper exposed reefs, although large schools numbering thousands have been seen by divers. The small thin and transparent juveniles, called 'paper fish', form schools over shallow rocky reefs.


Dorsal fin  XVII, 37-42; Anal fin III, 31-37; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 16-19; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line (onto caudal fin) 101-113; Vertebrae 14 + 21.

Body rather long, compressed, moderately deep; caudal peduncle narrow; dorsal and anal fins low, dorsal fin deeply notched; caudal fin deeply forked; pectoral fin bluntly pointed, upper rays longest.


 To 65 cm SL.


Silvery-grey, with irregular greenish-brown to coppery-colored lines and markings on the head and above the lateral line, a black margin on the pectoral and caudal fins, and a yellowish-white eye.


Feeds on a range of benthic invertebrates including gastropod and bivalve molluscs, crustaceans, polychaete worms and brittle stars.


A popular commercial and angling fish, taken in commercial gill nets and occasionally caught on rod and line. Regarded as an excellent table fish.

Species Citation

Latris forsteri Castelnau, 1872, Proc. Zool. Acclim. Soc. Vict. 1: 77. Type locality: Gippsland Coast, Victoria.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Bastard Trumpeter, Latridopsis forsteri (Castelnau 1872)


Ayling, T. & Cox, G.J. 1982. Collins Guide to the Seafishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Collins 343 pp. 48 pls 475 figs.

Bulman, C., Althaus, F., He, X., Bax, N. J. & Williams, A. 2001. Diets and trophic guilds of demersal fishes of the south-eastern Australian shelf. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 537–548.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl. (described as Latris forsteriLatris bilineata and Latris inornata) See ref at BHL

Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2, 624 pp.

Francis, M. 2001. Coastal Fishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Reed Publishing (NZ) Edn 3, 103 pp.

Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Günther, A. 1889. Report on the pelagic fishes collected by H. M. S. Challenger during the years 1873-76. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H. M. S. Challenger 31 (pt 78): 1-47, Pls. 1-6. See ref at BHL (Plate 2-1)

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

Kimura, K., Imamura, H. & Kawai, T. 2018. Comparative morphology and phylogenetic systematics of the families Cheilodactylidae and Latridae (Perciformes: Cirrhitoidea), and proposal of a new classification. Zootaxa 4536(1): 1-72.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Family Latrididae. pp. 655-657, figs 575-576 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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

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

Ludt, W.B., Burridge, C.P. & Chakrabarty, P. 2019. A taxonomic revision of Cheilodactylidae and Latridae (Centrarchiformes: Cirrhitoidei) using morphological and genomic characters. Zootaxa 4585 (1): 121–141,

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

Ogilby, J.D. 1885. Descriptions of new fishes from Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 10(2): 225-230 (described as Latris ramsayi) See ref at BHL

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279.

Roberts, C.D. 2015. 200 Family Latridae, pp. 1358-1362, in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Roberts, C.D. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Cheilodactylidae and Latridae. pp. 624-632 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Roughley, T.C. 1957. Fish and Fisheries of Australia. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 341 pp.

Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.

Smith, P.J., Gaffney, P.M. & Roberts, C.D. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of the silver trumpeter Latris pacifica (Teleostei, Percomorpha, Latridae) based on allozymes and mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 33(4): 755-767,

Smith, P.J., Roberts, C.D. & Benson, P.G. 2001. Biochemical-genetic and meristic evidence that blue and copper moki (Teleostei: Latridae: Latridopsis) are discrete species. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35: 375-395., open access

Steindachner, F. 1879. Über einige neue und seltene Fischarten aus den k.k. Zoologischen Museen zu Wien, Stuttgart und Warschau. Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Wien 41(2): 1-52 figs 1-9 (p. 30, described as Micropus muelleri) See ref at BHL

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1 See ref at BHL

Whitley, G.P. & Phillipps, W.J. 1939. Descriptive notes on some New Zealand fishes. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 69(2): 228-236 figs 21-22 (described as Evistius huttonii tasmaniensis)

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37378002

Depth:2-60 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:70 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map