Short Boarfish, Parazanclistius hutchinsi Hardy 1983

Other Names: Hutchin's Boarfish

A Short Boarfish, Parazanclistius hutchinsi, at Mornington, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, 2005. Source: Carol & Pete Bathie. License: All rights reserved


A distinctive boarfish with prominent black ocellus or "false eye-spot" on the rear of the tall rounded dorsal fin, large rounded pelvic fins, and a long almost tubular snout.

Video of a Short Boarfish in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

Video of a Short Boarfish in South Australia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J., 2016, Parazanclistius hutchinsi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Short Boarfish, Parazanclistius hutchinsi Hardy 1983

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Eden in southern New South Wales, to Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

Short Boarfish usually inhabit coastal waters in depths of 10–200 m


Dorsal-fin spines/rays VI, 25-27; Anal-fin spines/rays III-IV, 13-14; Pectoral-fin rays 16-18; Caudal-fin rays 17; Pelvic-fin spines/rays I, 5; Lateral line scales 66-72.

Body deep (59-67% SL); sides strongly compressed; dorsal profile broadly rounded. Head of moderate size (27-34% SL), anteriorly covered with exposed, rough, striated bones; eyes large; snout lightly built, somewhat elongate, dorsal profile very deeply concave; mouth small, nearly horizontal; teeth of both jaws short, conical, set in broad bands anteriorly, bands narrowing along sides; vomer toothless; older specimens with heavily rounded nape but without bony knob.

Scales ctenoid, moderately small, present on opercles and subopercles; lateral line strongly arched, following dorsal profile of body.

Dorsal fin continuous, spines increasing in length posteriorly, anterior soft dorsal rays much longer than posterior-most dorsal-fin spine, sometimes extending beyond caudal fin, posterior edge of dorsal fin concave; anal fin short-based, posterior margin rounded; caudal fin slightly emarginate. Pectoral fins elongate, upper rays much longer than lower. Pelvic fins large, spine strong.


To 34 cm


Body pale olive-brown, darkening on sides behind the pectoral-fin base; top of head dark brown, extending antero-ventrally below eyes almost to corner of mouth; dorsal, anal and caudal fins with indistinctly edged, narrow darkish bands crossing rays; a prominent, white-edged black spot or ocellus (false eye-spot) on the rear of the dorsal fin.


May be taken as incidental bycatch in commercial trawls.


The species is named hutchinsi in honour of Dr Barry Hutchins, formerly Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum.

Species Citation

Parazanclistius hutchinsi Hardy 1983, Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 10(4): 375. Type locality: Rottnest Island, Western Australia


Bray, D.J., 2016

Short Boarfish, Parazanclistius hutchinsi Hardy 1983


Bray, D.J., Hoese, D.F. & Paxton, J.R. 2006. Pentacerotidae (pp. 1312–1316). In  Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol.35.2 ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia

Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. 544 pp.

Hardy, G.S. 1983. A revision of the fishes of the family Pentacerotidae (Perciformes). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 10: 177-220 figs 1-13 PDF Open access

Hardy, G.S. 1983. A new genus and species of boarfish (Perciformes : Pentacerotidae) from Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 10(4): 373-380 fig. 1 PDF Open access

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Pentacerotidae (pp. 611–617). In Gomon, M.F., Bray,D. & Kuiter, R.H. The Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, Australia.

Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. 180 pp.

Hutchins, B. & M. Thompson. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Western Australian Museum. 103 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. 433 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37367010

Depth:5-200 m

Fishing:Commercial bycatch

Habitat:Reef associated, soft bottoms

Max Size:34 cm TL


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