Finspot Gurnard, Lepidotrigla spiloptera Gunther 1880

A Finspot Gurnard, Lepidotrigla punctipectoralis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-Noncommercial


The Finspot Gurnard is among the least understood members of the genus, Lepidotrigla, in the tropical Indo-West Pacific. The most distinguishable feature of this species is the inner surface of the pectoral fins, which are greenish brown with a large black patch and white spots scattered all over except on the red margins of the fins.

This species has previously been mistaken for Lepidotrigla punctipectoralis in northern Australia and south east Asia.

Cite this page as:
Leanne Nguyen, Lepidotrigla spiloptera in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Oct 2021,

Finspot Gurnard, Lepidotrigla spiloptera Gunther 1880

More Info


The north-western coast of Australia and in Indonesian waters from the Kai Islands to Bali at depths of 150-300 m.


Dorsal fin IX, 15; Anal fin 15; Pectoral fin 11 + 3; Lateral line scales 58 to 61.

Body with slight convex curve from posterior part of first dorsal fin base to moderately narrow caudal peduncle; narrow but distinct postorbital notch above and behind each eye and faint furrow across nape at rear of interorbital space; rostral process with broad to deep medial notch and nearly straight to slightly curved anterior edge on each rostral lobe to triangular spine of moderate size at apical corner; lateral line with 58 to 61 pored scales; 3 scales above lateral line and about 14 to 17 scales below lateral line; first dorsal fin with 9 spines, second distinctly longer than first, barely longer than third, subsequent spines progressively shorter, second dorsal fin with 15 or 16 rays; anal fin with 15 (rarely 14 or 16) rays; pectoral fins reaching about fourth or fifth anal fin ray, first free pectoral fin ray reaching to between anus and base of third anal fin ray, not or just reaching tip of pelvic fin. 


154 mm SL


Body above lateral midline and head reddish, lower half of sides and underside of head white; first dorsal fin pink with elongate red spot on the basal half of fin between third and sixth spines; distal portion of second dorsal reddish, white basally; anal fin white; broad red band just distal to middle of caudal fin with broad ventrally tapering pink margin and transverse red band basally; pelvic fins white; inner surface of pectoral fin dark greenish brown with large black patch covering ventral third to half of fin from base to distal margin except for fine red margin dorsally and distally and broad red margin ventrally, prominent white spots scattered over all but red areas on fin, rays on outer surface white with membranes matching inner surface on upper two thirds of fin, pink ventrally and on free rays.


An occasional bycatch species in trawl fisheries.

Similar Species

This species is similar to Lepidotrigla punctipectoralis and has been mistaken for it before.


The name spiloptera is from the Greek spilotos for “spotted” and pteron for “wing” in reference to the distinctive white spots spread across the inner surface of the wing-like pectoral fin, a characteristic of this species.

Species Citation

Gunther A. 1880. Report on the shore fishes procured during the voyage of H. M. S. Challenger in the years 1873-1876. In: Report on the scientific results of the voyage of H. M. S. Challenger during the years 1873-76. Zoology. v. 1 (pt 6): 1-82, Pls. 1-32.


Leanne Nguyen

Finspot Gurnard, Lepidotrigla spiloptera Gunther 1880


Gomon, M.F. & Kawai, T. 2018. A review of Indonesia’s Indian Ocean species of Lepidotrigla gurnards (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) with descriptions of three new species from southern coastal waters. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 66: 624-651.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37288027

Depth:150-300 m

Habitat:Soft bottom

Max Size:15.4 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map