Oualan Bullseye, Pempheris oualensis Cuvier 1831

Other Names: Blackspot Sweeper, Cave Sweeper, Copper Sweeper, Keeled Sweeper

An Oualan Bullseye, Pempheris oualensis, in the Murion Islands, Western Australia, November 2019. Source: Alex Hoschke / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial


A dark coppery-brown sweeper becoming coppery on the sides, with a broad black tip and leading edge on the dorsal fin, the caudal fin dark posteriorly, the basal part of anal fin dusky, a large black blotch around the pectoral-fin base, yellow eyes and pinkish pectoral fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Pempheris oualensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2488

Oualan Bullseye, Pempheris oualensis Cuvier 1831

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Rottnest Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales; also Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, reefs in the Coral Sea, and Lord Howe Island Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west-central Pacific.

Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, forming schools in caves and under ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin VI, 9-10; Anal fin III, 36-45; Pectoral fin 16-18; Lateral-line scales 54-79; Scales above lateral-line 5-7; Gill rakers 7-10 + 19-26.

Pre-pelvic area narrow and keeled; scales on sides cycloid and deciduous.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated
  • Etymology

    The species is named oualensis for Oualan Island, the type locality (=Strong Island, Caroline Islands).

    Species Citation

    Pempheris oualensis Cuvier, 1831, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 7: 299. Type locality: Strong Island (as Oualan Island), Caroline Islands.


    Bray, D.J. 2020


    Atlas of Living Australia

    Oualan Bullseye, Pempheris oualensis Cuvier 1831


    Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

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    Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

    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.

    Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1831. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 7 531 pp. pls 170-208. See ref at BHL

    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

    Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202.

    Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219.

    Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

    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)

    Koeda, K., Yoshino, T., Imai, H. & Tachihara, K. 2014. A review of the genus Pempheris (Perciformes, Pempheridae) of the Red Sea, with description of a new species. Zootaxa 3793(3): 301-330

    Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

    Mooi, R.D. 2001. Pempheridae. pp. 3201-3204 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.

    Mooi, R.D. &. Jubb, R.N. 1996. Descriptions of two new species of the genus Pempheris (Pisces: Pempheridae) from Australia, with a provisional key to Australian species. Records of the Australian Museum 48(2): 117-130 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.48.1996.284

    Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.  

    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.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37357010



    Depth:1-35 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:22 cm TL

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