Silver Sweep, Scorpis lineolata Kner 1865

Other Names: False Pompano, Sweep, Trumps, Windawindawi

A juvenile Silver Sweep, Scorpis lineolata, in Sydney, New South Wales. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A uniform grey sweep, duskier above and rather silvery below, with a black rear margin on the gill cover, a blackish area on the pectoral-fin base, and black outer caudal-fin rays.
A school of juvenile Silver Sweep beneath Woodbridge jetty, Tasmania.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Scorpis lineolata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Silver Sweep, Scorpis lineolata Kner 1865

More Info


Moreton Bay, Queensland, to Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, and throughout Tasmania, rarely to Victor Harbor, South Australia, also Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. The species also occurs in New Zealand.
Schools inhabit exposed coastlines and quiet reef areas, occasionally entering estuaries. Juveniles are commonly found in rock pools. The silver sweep is an abundant fish in New South Wales, but occurs less frequently in more southern waters where it is replaced by the Seasweep. 


Dorsal fin X, 26-28; Anal fin III, 27- 28; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 17-18; Pelvic fins I, 5; Lateral lin scales approx 90.
Body deep (49-55% SL), strongly compressed; caudal peduncle shallow. Head of moderate size (27-34% SL), dorsal profile nearly straight; snout short; eyes moderately large (27-35% HL); mouth small, oblique; jaw teeth small, strong, in broad bands, outer row enlarged and recurved; preopercular margins serrate; edges of opercles and preorbital bones smooth. 
Scales tiny, ctenoid, covering body, most of head and soft parts of anal and dorsal fins; lateral line gently curved. 
Dorsal fin continuous, first spine very short, followed by progressively longer spines, anterior-most soft rays only slightly longer than preceding spines, following rays progressively shorter, making outer margin of fin nearly straight, base of soft portion of dorsal fin much longer than that of spinous portion. Pectoral fins small, dorsal rays longest. Pelvic fins very small, inserted below and behind pectoral fin bases.


The flesh is firm and of excellent quality.

Species Citation

Scorpis lineolatus Kner, 1865, Reise Novara, Zool. I, Fishch, pt. I: 108, pl. 5, fig. 3. Type locality: Sydney.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Silver Sweep, Scorpis lineolata Kner 1865


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 

Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Girellidae, Scorpididae, Microcanthidae. pp. 3297-3303 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. 

Castelnau, F.L. de 1879. Essay on the ichthyology of Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(4): 347-402 (p. 350& 371, as Agenor modestus)

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

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 

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Monodactylidae, Arripidae, Kyphosidae, Girellidae, Microcanthidae, Scorpididae. pp. 596-607 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

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

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kner, R. 1865. Reise des Österreichischen Fregatte Novara un die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859, unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllerstand-Urbair. Zool. Theil. Fische 1 und 2. Abteilung. Wien : Kurl Gerold's & Sohn 272 pp. 

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Family Scorpididae. pp. 618-624, figs 544-624 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. 

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

McCulloch, A.R. & Waite, E.R. 1916. Additions to the fish fauna of Lord Howe Island. No. 5. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 40: 437-451 pls 40-43 (p. 443, misidentified as Scorpis violacea)

Steindachner, F. 1866. Zur Fischfauna von Port Jackson in Australien. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 53(1): 424-480 pls 1-7 (p. 437, pl. 5(1), as Scorpis richardsonii)

Whitley, G.P. 1948. Studies in Ichthyology No. 13. Records of the Australian Museum 22(1): 70-94 figs 1-11 (p. 90, fig. 9, as Juvenella carangoides)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37361009

Depth:1–30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm

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