Abrolhos Jawfish, Opistognathus alleni Smith-Vaniz 2004

Abrolhos Jawfish, Opistognathus alleni. Source: Randy Mooi / University of Manitoba. License: All rights reserved


A small yellowish-brown jawfish with a dark chocolate-brown stripe along the midside, a dark chocolate-brown stripe on the dorsal and anal fins, whitish spots on the cheek, gill cover, pectoral-fin base and below the midlateral stripe, and a broad dark submarginal band on the dorsal fin and pale fleshy tabs on the tips of the dorsal-fin spines.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Opistognathus alleni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Feb 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3494

Abrolhos Jawfish, Opistognathus alleni Smith-Vaniz 2004

More Info


Houtmans Abrolhos to Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.


Dorsal fin X,19-20; Anal-fin II, 7-18; Pectoral fin 19-20; Caudal fin procurrent rays 4-5 + 3-5, segmented rays 8+8, middle 12-14 branched, total elements 23-26; Vertebrae 10 + 22-23; Gill rakers 8-10 + 16-18 = 24-28; Oblique scale rows in longitudinal series ~21-31.


The species is named in honour of Dr Gerald R. Allen, who recognized the species as being undescribed, for making the material available and for his contributions to the knowledge of Indo-Pacific fishes.

Species Citation

Opistognathus alleni Smith-Vaniz 2004, Rec. Aust. Mus. 56: 210, figs 1, 2A, 3A, 4A. Type locality: Northern end of Dicks Island in Goss Passage, 28°30'S, 113°46'E. Houtman Abrolhos Archipelago, Western Australia, depth 30-32 m


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Abrolhos Jawfish, Opistognathus alleni Smith-Vaniz 2004


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 201 pp., 70 pls (as Opistognathus sp)

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2004. Descriptions of Six New Species of Jawfishes (Opistognathidae: Opistognathus) from Australia. Records of the Australian Museum 56: 209-224 https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.56.2004.1422

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37388011

Biology:Males - mouth brooders

Depth:0-33 m

Habitat:Reef associated, in burrows

Max Size:7.4 cm SL


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