Yellowspotted Boarfish, Paristiopterus gallipavo Whitley 1944

Other Names: Brown-spotted Boarfish, Giant Boarfish, Yellow-spotted Boarfish, Yellowspotted Penfish

A Yellowspotted Boarfish, Paristiopterus gallipavo. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved


A large pearly-grey boarfish with two indistinct darker oblique bands on the midbody, and yellowish to brownish spots on head, nape and either side of dorsal-fin base. Large adults have rough, exposed head bones.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Paristiopterus gallipavo in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,

Yellowspotted Boarfish, Paristiopterus gallipavo Whitley 1944

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from the Gulf St.Vincent and Kangaroo Island, South Australia, to SW of Carnarvon, Western Australia. Yellowspotted Boarfish inhabit the continental shelf and upper slope at depths to 260 metres


Dorsal fin VII-VIII, 16-18; Anal fin III, 9-10; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 72-26.

Body depth 31-55% SL. Head with extensive fleshy covering of bony areas in all but largest adults; snout noticeably produced in juveniles; nape in juveniles without bony knob.

Dorsal fin with long, slender spines in juveniles and adults, the last 5 produced well beyond fin membrane in large individuals; anal fin short-based, fin margin mostly straight.


Reaches a length of 60 cm.


Body pearly-grey, with brownish spots on the head, nape and on either side of the dorsal-fin base, and smaller brownish flecks elsewhere; two indistinct darker oblique bands on midbody, running obliquely to and above the anal fin; pectoral fins clear, others with brownish spots or blotches, those on caudal fin in a basal crescent-shaped pattern.


Taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries and marketed fresh, and caught by recreational fishers.


Similar Species

The species is somewhat similar to the Giant Boarfish, Paristiopterus labiosus, which occurs eastwards from Port Phillip, Victoria.


The specific name gallipavo is from the Latin gallus (= chicken) and pavo (= peacock), meaning turkey. It is unclear why Whitley decided on this name.

Species Citation

Paristiopterus gallipavo Whitley, 1944, Proc. Roy. Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1943-44: 28, fig. 4. Type locality: off Rockingham, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Yellowspotted Boarfish, Paristiopterus gallipavo Whitley 1944


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

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.

Hardy, G.S. 1994. Pentacerotidae. pp. 629-636, figs 553-559 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

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

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

Kim, S-Y. 2012. Phylogenetic Systematics of the Family Pentacerotidae (Actinopterygii: Order Perciformes). Zootaxa 3366: 1–111

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

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

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp. 

Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs. 

Whitley, G.P. 1944. Illustrations of some Western Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1943–44: 25-29 figs 1-6 

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89(1): 11-127 

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37367001

Depth:100 cm TL

Depth:8-260 m

Fishing:Commercial species


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