Common Gurnard Perch, Neosebastes scorpaenoides Guichenot 1867

Other Names: Cobbler Perch, Red-spotted Gurnard Perch, Ruddy Gurnard Perch, Smooth Gurnard Perch, Spotted Gurnard Perch

A Common Gurnard Perch, Neosebastes scorpaenoides, at Mornington, Port Phillip, Victoria, 26 March 2007. Source: Sascha Schultz / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A relatively large greyish to reddish-brown gurnard perch becoming whitish below, with three irregular, broad dark saddle-like bands, a dark bar below the eye, two large dark blotches on the spinous dorsal fin, large pectoral fins often with red spots and blotches, and dark submarginal bands caudal fin and soft dorsal and anal fins. 
Like all gurnard perches, the large dorsal-fin spines are venomous and may cause very painful wounds.
Video of a Common Gurnard Perch at St Leonards, Port Phillip, Victoria, January 2008.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Neosebastes scorpaenoides in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Common Gurnard Perch, Neosebastes scorpaenoides Guichenot 1867

More Info


Endemic to south-eastern and southern Australia, from Sydney, New South Wales, to south of Wilson Bluff, Great Australian Bight, South Australia, including Tasmania.


Dorsal fin XIII, 7–8; Anal fin III, 4–6; Caudal fin 15; Pectoral fin 19–22; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 38–50; gill rakers 8–28.  
Underside of mandible smooth, with numerous tiny pores; tip of lower opercular spine usually not extending beyond opercular margin; head spines blunt; 72–103 (mode 80) longitudinal scale rows. 


Greyish with 3 irregular, diffuse broad saddle like dark bands; 4th band below eye; underside whitish; spinous part of dorsal fin with 2 large nearly black blotches, one anteriorly and one midway along it, soft parts of dorsal and anal fins black near distal edge.


Frequently taken by commercial trawlers and occasionally caught on hook and line in bays and estuaries. The flesh is considered to be quite edible.


This is the most common inshore species of Neosebastes found in the eastern part of Australia's south coast.

Species Citation

Neosebastes scorpaenoides Guichenot 1867, Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Sciences Naturelles de Cherbourg 13: 83. Type locality: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Common Gurnard Perch, Neosebastes scorpaenoides Guichenot 1867


Guichenot, A. 1867. Notice sur le Néosébaste nouveau genre de poissons de la famille des scorpènoides, et description d'une nouvelle espèce. Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Sciences Naturelles de Cherbourg 13: 83-89 See ref at BHL

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. & Motomura, H. 2008. Family Neosebastidae. pp. 489-495 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Klunzinger, C.B. 1872. Zur Fische-fauna von Süd Australien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 38(1): 17-47 pl. 2 (described as Scorpaena ambigua - type locality Hobsons Bay, Victoria) See ref at BHL

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

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. 

Motomura, H. 2004. Revision of the scorpionfish genus Neosebastes (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 37: 1-76 

Motomura, H. & Causse, R. 2010. Revised diagnosis of Neosebastes capricornis (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae), with new records of species from Vanuatu. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 44(4): 323-327

Poss, S.G. 1994. Family Scorpaenidae. pp. 477-494 figs 428-441 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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287005

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:1-180 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:40 cm TL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map