Surf Sardine, Iso rhothophilus (Ogilby 1895)

Other Names: Flower of the Wave, Flower of the Waves, Surf Fish, Surf-fish

A Surf Sardine, Iso rhothophilus. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A small silvery fish found in the surf zone with a distinctive deep head and anterior body that tapers to a slender tail base, pectoral fins inserted high on the body, usually two separate dorsal fins and a broad, silver mid-lateral stripe.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Iso rhothophilus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Jul 2020,

Surf Sardine, Iso rhothophilus (Ogilby 1895)

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Recorded in Australia from Byron Bay to Jervis Bay, NSW, Kilcunda, VIC, and from Bald Head to Rottnest Island, WA. Elsewhere in the Indo-west Pacific (Taiwan and Japan).


Dianne J. Bray

Surf Sardine, Iso rhothophilus (Ogilby 1895)


Bloom, D.D., Unmack, P.J., Gosztonyi, A.E., Piller, K.R. & Lovejoy, N.R. 2012. It’s a family matter: Molecular phylogenetics of Atheriniformes and the polyphyly of the surf silversides (Family: Notocheiridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 1025-1030.

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pac. Sci. 47(2): 136-170.

Humphries, P., G.A. Hyndes & I.C. Potter. 1992. Comparisons between the diets of distant taxa (Teleost and Cormorant) in an Australian estuary. Estuaries 15(3):327-334.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

Ivantsoff, W. 1994. Families Atherinidae, Isonidae. pp. 375-383 figs 336-342 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.

Ivantsoff, W. 1999. Isonidae, Telmatherinidae, Dentatherinidae. pp. 2140-2145 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 2069-2790 pp.

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

Ogilby, J.D. 1895. On two new genera and species of fishes from Australia. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 2 10(2): 320-324.

Raadik, T.A. 2008. Family Isonidae. pp. 401 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Saeed, B., Ivanstoff, W., Aarn 2006. Descriptive anatomy of Iso rhothophilus (Ogilby), with a phylogenetic analysis of Iso and a redefinition of Isonidae (Atheriniformes). Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 11: 25-43.

Saeed, B., Ivantsoff, W. & Crowley, L.E.L.M. 1993. A new species of surf-inhabiting atheriniform Iso (Pisces: Isonidae). Records of the Western Australian Museum 16(3): 337-346.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37247001

Behaviour:Pelagic in surf zone

Depth:0-20 m

Max Size:7.5 cm TL

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