Painted Grinner, Trachinocephalus trachinus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)

Other Names: Bluntnose Lizardfish, Painted Lizardfish, Painted Saury, Snakefish

A Painted Grinner, Trachinocephalus trachinus, in Chowder Bay, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, May 2018. Source: kim dinh / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A robust lizardfish with narrow pale blue and yellow wavy stripes and several indistinct darker bars along the sides, and a black spot at the upper corner of the gill opening. 
This species was previously known as Trachinocephalus myops, which only occurs in the Atlantic Ocean (Polanco et al. 2016).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Trachinocephalus trachinus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 12 Apr 2021,

Painted Grinner, Trachinocephalus trachinus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)

More Info


Garden Island, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Nowra, New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west-central Pacific.

Species Citation

Saurus trachinus Temminck & Schlegel 1846, Fauna Japonica Parts 10-14: 231, Pl. 106 (fig. 2). Type locality: Nagasaki, Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Painted Grinner, Trachinocephalus trachinus (Temminck & Schlegel 1846)


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

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

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

Norman, J.R. 1935. A revision of the lizard-fishes of the genera Synodus, Trachinocephalus, and Saurida. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1935(1): 99-135 figs 1-18 (as Trachinocephalus myops)

Ogilby, J.D. 1897. Some new genera and species of fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 22(2): 245-251 (as Goodella hypozona)

Polanco F., A., Acero P., A. & Betancur-R., R. (2016) No longer a circumtropical species: revision of the lizardfishes in the Trachinocephalus myops species complex, with description of a new species from the Marquesas Islands. Journal of Fish Biology 89: 1302–1323.

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.(as Trachinocephalus myops)

Russell, B.C. 1999. Families Synodontidae, Bathysauridae. pp. 1928-1947 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. 3 pp. 1397-2068. (as Trachinocephalus myops)

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Trachinocephalus myops)

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1846. Pisces. 227-247 pls 104 (in part), 105-110 in Siebold, P. Fr de (ed.) Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(13).

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37118002

Depth:3-40 m

Habitat:Sandy bottoms

Max Size:32 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map