Longfin Waspfish, Apistus carinatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Longfinned Waspfish, Long-finned Waspfish, Ocellated Waspfish

A Longfin Waspfish, Apistus carinatus, at Anilao, Philipppines. Source: Rickard Zerpe / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-ShareAlike

A bluish to pinkish-grey waspfish with a large black ocellated spot on the rear half of the spinous dorsal fin, long yellow pectoral fins, and sensory barbels on the chin.
When disturbed, the Longfin Waspfish spreads its pectoral fins to deter predators.
Video of a Longfin Waspfish

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Apistus carinatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3152

Longfin Waspfish, Apistus carinatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, to off Newcastle, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west Pacific.

Inhabits sandy, silty bottoms, usually buried deep in the sediment during the day with only the eyes exposed.


The sensory barbels are used to detect buried prey, and the Longfin Waspfish can corner prey by spreading the large pectoral fins.

Species Citation

Scorpaena carinata Bloch & Schneider 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae: 193. Type locality: Tranquebar, India.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Longfin Waspfish, Apistus carinatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 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. 

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls. 

Dor, M. 1984. CLOFRES, Checklist of the Fishes of the Red Sea. Jerusalem : Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 437 pp. 2 figs. 

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1986. Family No. 149: Scorpaenidae. pp. 463-478 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50 

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 

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)

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. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Mandrytsa, S.A. 2001. Lateral Line System and Classification of Scorpaenoid Fishes (Scorpeaniformes: Scorpaenidei). Perm : Perm State Univ. Press pp. 1-393.

Ogilby, J.D. 1910. On new or insufficiently described fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 23(1): 1-55 [Date published 1911]  (as Apistus balnearum)

Ogilby, J.D. 1910. On some new fishes from the Queensland coast. Endeavour Series No. 1 23: 85-13 (as Apistus macrolepidotus)

Poss, S.G. 1999. Families Scorpaenidae, Caracanthidae, Aploactinidae. pp. 2291-2358 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790. 

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287011

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:7-64 m

Habitat:Reef associated, silty/sandy areas

Max Size:20 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map