Wavy Grubfish, Parapercis haackei (Steindachner 1884)

Other Names: Wavy Weever

A Wavy Grubfish, Parapercis haackei, at Adelaide, Gulf St Vincent, South Australia. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A small grubfish with a sandy-brown back crossed by pale bars, an irregular dark brown wavy line along the upper side, faint darker bars along the middle and lower sides, small reddish brown spots along the midsides especially near the pectoral-fin bases, and a dark blotch on the spinous dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Parapercis haackei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2939

Wavy Grubfish, Parapercis haackei (Steindachner 1884)

More Info


Endemic to southwestern Australia from Kangaroo Island, South Australia, to Shark Bay, Western Australia. Occurs in shallow coastal waters, bays and estuaries at depths to just over 35 m. Inhabits protected sandy, shelly and muddy areas, near reefs, rocky outcrops and around jetties.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin V, 22; Anal fin 19; Caudal fin 15; Pectoral fin 13-15; pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 50-53.

Body elongate, shallow (19-22% SL), slightly compressed; caudal peduncle of moderate depth. Head moderately small (26-29% SL), cylindrical, pointed; eyes large (25-33% HL), positioned dorsolaterally; interorbit narrow; mouth large, reaching below forward half of eyes; teeth pointed, broad band of small teeth at front of each jaw bordered by two rows of longer curved canines, one at front of jaw and one along each side; spine high on free margin of opercle.

Scales ctenoid, moderately small, covering body and head, except snout; lateral line continuous, parallel with dorsal profile of body for most of its length.

Dorsal fin in two parts, short based spinous first dorsal adjacent to noticeably higher soft dorsal with elongate base, second to fourth spines distinctly longer than first and last, soft dorsal  of uniform height; anal fin with elongate base, slightly shorter and lower than soft portion of dorsal fin; caudal fin small, slightly rounded. Pectoral fins small, rounded. Pelvic fins longer than pectorals, based below and slightly in advance of pectoral fin bases.


Sandy brown above, paler below, with a dark wavy line from the eye to the upper surface of the caudal peduncle; indistinct darker bars along the sides and small reddish brown spots on the paler part of sides mostly close to the pectoral-fin bases and on the opercles; lower lip black or with two spots; fins translucent with fine dark spots except for a dark basal area on the spinous dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Percis haackei Steindachner, 1884, Sitzb. Akad. Wiss. Wien 88: 1070, St. Vincent's Gulf, South Australia.


Dianne J. Bray

Wavy Grubfish, Parapercis haackei (Steindachner 1884)


Cantwell, G.E. 1964. A revision of the genus Parapercis, family Mugiloididae. Pacific Science 18: 239-280.

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. 2008. Pinguipedidae. pp. 670-673 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Family Pinguipedidae, in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

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.

Neira, F.J., A.G. Miskiewicz and T. Trnski, 1998. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. University of Western Australia Press. 474 pp.

Randall, J.E., 2003. Review of the sandperches of the Parapercis cylindrica complex (Perciformes: Pinguipedidae), with description of two new species from the western Pacific. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers (72): 1-19.

Steindachner, F. 1884. Ichthyologische Beitr├Ąge (13)1. Beitr├Ąge zur Kenntniss der Fische Australiens. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 88(1): 1065-1108, figs 1-8 [dated 1883]

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37390004

Depth:1-45 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/shelly/muddy areas

Max Size:10 cm

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map