Rusty Jobfish, Aphareus rutilans Cuvier 1830

Other Names: Ironjaw Snapper, Ironjaw, Red Smalltooth Job, Silvermouth, Small Tooth Jobfish, Smalltooth Jobfish, Small-toothed Jobfish, Small-toothed Job-fish

A Rusty Jobfish, Aphareus rutilans, from St. Lazarus Bank, Mozambique. Source: Robert J. Koch / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A bluish-grey to mauve or reddish jobfish with yellowish to reddish dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins, and a dark margin on the upper jaw. The Rusty Jobfish is relatively slender with a very large deeply forked or lunate tail, and the last ray of dorsal and anal fins elongate.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Aphareus rutilans in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Sep 2020,

Rusty Jobfish, Aphareus rutilans Cuvier 1830

More Info


Recorded in Australian waters from Scott Reef, Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef  to north of Townsville, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Larvae have been recorded as far south as Crowdy Head, New South Wales.
Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific, and in the southeast Atlantic off southern South Africa.
Benthopelagic over reefs and rocky areas in depths to 250 m, and possibly to 350 m.


Dorsal fin X, 10-11; Anal fin III, 8; Gill rakers (first arch) 6-12 + 15-18.

Body elongate, caudal fin large, deeply forked or lunate. Mouth large, lower jaw protruding, maxilla reaching to below middle of eye; jaw teeth minute; interorbital space flattened.

Dorsal fin long-based, not deeply incised at junction of the spinous and soft-rayed portions; posteriormost ray of dorsal and anal fins elongate.


Feeds on fishes, squids and crustaceans.


Grows to a maximum age of 18 years, and matures at about 3.8 years. 


Taken in deep-water line fisheries throughout its range.


  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Similar Species

    Differs from the Smalltooth Jobfish, Aphareus furca in coloration and gill raker counts. The Smalltooth Jobfish is steely-blue to purplish-brown, and has 6-12 + 15-18 gill rakers on the first gill arch (vs. 16-19 + 32-35 in the Rusty Jobfish).

    Species Citation

    Aphareus rutilans Cuvier, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1830, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 6: 490. Type data: Red Sea.


    Bray, D.J. 2017

    Rusty Jobfish, Aphareus rutilans Cuvier 1830


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

    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. & 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.

    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.

    Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1830. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 6 559 pp. pls 141-169.

    Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & P.J. Kailola, 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 p.

    Holmes, B. 2006. Deepwater Fish Field Guide, Queensland Deepwater Fin Fish Fishery. Brisbane : Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 16 pp.

    Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123.

    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.

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

    Martinez-Andrade, F. 2003. A comparison of life histories and ecological aspects among snappers (pisces: Lutjanidae). Ph.D Thesis, Louisiana State University.

    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., Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Lawrence, A., Carpenter, K.E., Myers, R. & Thaman, R. 2016. Aphareus rutilans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T194360A2321168. Downloaded on 04 September 2017.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37346001

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:5-250 m

    Fishing:Commercial & recreational fish

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:110 cm TL; 11.3 kg

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