Blacktip Morwong, Goniistius francisi (Burridge 2004)

Other Names: Masked Moki

A Blacktip Morwong, Goniistius francisi, at Comets Hole in the lagoon at Lord Howe Island. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A whitish morwong with four dark diagonal bands - one through the eye to the pectoral-fin base, one from the nape to the pectoral-fin base, a broad band from before the dorsal fin to the pelvic fin base, and a broad band from behind the 4th dorsal-fin spine to the lower caudal fin lobe. The species also has a white anal fin, a black tip on the upper caudal-fin lobe, and black pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Goniistius francisi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Jun 2023,

Blacktip Morwong, Goniistius francisi (Burridge 2004)

More Info


Recorded from the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the Kermadec Islands, New Zealand, and may also occur in New Caledonia.


Dorsal fin XVI-XVII, 31-34; Anal fin III, 8; Lateral line scales 64-66; Gill rakers 5-6+15-16, often 5+15.

Body depth 2.83 in SL (2.57-2.76); pelvic fins reaching but not extending beyond the anus, 5.55 in SL (4.55-5.81); prominent bony knobs on the prefrontals and above the upperlip.


The species is named for Malcolm Francis, for his contributions to the biogeography of SW Pacific fishes.

Species Citation

Cheilodactylus (Goniistius) francisi Burridge, 2004, Rec. Aust. Mus. 56: 232, fig. 1. Type locality: off Phillip Point, Lord Howe Island, 31°32'S, 159°04'E, depth 100 m.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Australian Faunal Directory

Blacktip Morwong, Goniistius francisi (Burridge 2004)


Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 (misidentified as Goniistius gibbosus)

Burridge, C.P. 2004. Cheilodactylus (Goniistius) francisi, a new species of morwong (Perciformes: Cirrhitoidea) from the southwest Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 231-234. DOI 10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1425 Open access

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2. (as Cheilodactylus vittatus)

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

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp. (as Cheilodactylus vittatus)

Kimura, K., H. 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.

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,

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. (as Goniistius vittatus)

Randall, J.E. 2001. Cirrhitidae, Cheilodactylidae. pp. 3321-3330 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. (in part as Goniistius vittatus)

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp. 

Roberts, C.D. 2015. 199 Family Cheilodactylidae, pp. 1347-1357, 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. (as Cheilodactylus francisi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37377015

Depth:6-100 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:28 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map