Roundsnout Gurnard, Lepidotrigla mulhalli Macleay 1884

Other Names: Deepwater Gurnard, Mulhall's Gurnard, Round-snouted Gurnard

A Roundsnout Gurnard, Lepidotrigla mulhalli. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A pink gurnard becoming whitish below, with a large irregular dark red blotch below each dorsal fin, a dark red spot between the fifth and seventh dorsal-fin spines, and broad red bands on the second dorsal and caudal fins. The inner surface of the pectoral fin is bluish-grey with a blue border and an irregular pale-edged black spot, and the roof of the mouth is orange centrally and yellowish posteriorly.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Lepidotrigla mulhalli in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Roundsnout Gurnard, Lepidotrigla mulhalli Macleay 1884

More Info


Southern Queensland to western Bass Strait, including Tasmania. Inhabits soft sediment areas, generally occurring in deeper waters in the northern-most part of its range.


Dorsal fin IX + 15; Anal fin 15; Caudal fin 11; Pectoral fin 11 + 3; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 54-60.  
Body of moderate depth (25-28% SL) and length, thick, tapering posteriorly to slender caudal peduncle. Head small (30-34% SL), but prominent, rectangular in cross section, encased in bone; profile of snout steeply inclined, straight in small specimens, hump in front of eyes in large ones;  eyes moderately large (25-30% HL), interorbital nearly flat to slightly depressed; mouth small (upper jaw length 34  36% HL), horizontal; teeth granular, band in each jaw; small but distinct spines on opercula, above each pectoral fin base and on bony process on each side of dorsal fin origin;  indistinct groove above and behind each eye, often not apparent in large individuals, bony rostrum enclosing upper lip with distinct medial notch, each side with several moderately small spines.  
Scales small ctenoid, firmly attached, covering all of body except chest and anterior portion of belly;  lateral line straight, anteriorly closer to dorsal profile than to lateral midline; lateral line scales not especially enlarged, lacking spines;  scales along bases of both dorsal fins forming row of enlarged thorn like bucklers.  
Dorsal fin in two parts, first tall and curved, second elongate and slightly shorter but of more even height;  anal fin similar to second dorsal;  caudal fin with slightly concave margin, lobes about equal. Pectoral fins prominent, tip reaching slightly past ventral fin tips;  lower three rays thickened and not interconnected by membranes. Pelvic fins prominent, reaching well past origin of anal fin.


Pink above, white below, with large irregular dark red blotch below each dorsal fin;  roof of mouth yellow posteriorly, orange centrally; first dorsal fin with dark red spot between fifth and seventh spines; second dorsal and caudal fins with broad red bands;  inner surface of pectoral fins bluish black.


Feeds mostly on benthic crustaceans, such as crabs, cumaceans and amphipods.


The species is named "after Mr. Sub-Inspector Mulhall, to whom I am indebted for much of my knowledge of the Fishes of this country".

Species Citation

Lepidotrigla mulhalli Macleay 1884, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. Wales, 8(4):  460. Type locality: outside Port Jackson Heads, New South Wales, depth 40 fathoms.  


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Roundsnout Gurnard, Lepidotrigla mulhalli Macleay 1884


Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Triglidae. pp. 494-505 figs 442-450 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.

Gomon, M.F. & Last, P.R. 2008. Family Triglidae. pp. 508-514 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. 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. 

Macleay, W.J. 1884. Some results of trawl fishing outside Port Jackson. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 8(4): 457-462 See ref at BHL

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

Park, J.M., Troy, F., Gaston, T.F. & Williamson, J.E. Resource partitioning in gurnard species using trophic analyses: The importance of temporal resolution. Fisheries Research 186 (2017) 301–310

Richards, W.J. 1992. Comments on the genus Lepidotrigla (Pisces: Triglidae) with descriptions of two new species from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Bulletin of Marine Science 51(1): 45-65. See ref online

Waite, E.R. 1899. Scientific results of the trawling expedition of H.M.C.S. Thetis off the coast of New South Wales. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 4: 1-132 figs 1-10 pls 1-31

Whitley, G.P. 1959. More ichthyological snippets. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1957–58: 11-26, figs 1-9 (as Hatha mulhalliSee ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37288008

Depth:20-250 m

Habitat:Soft sediment areas

Max Size:20 cm SL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map