Thetis Fish, Neosebastes thetidis (Waite 1899)

Other Names: Coral Perch, Ocean Perch, Rough Gurnard Perch

Thetis Fish, Neosebastes thetidis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A yellowish scorpionfish, usually with 5 large poorly-defined dark blotches on the side, especially below the spinous and soft parts of the dorsal fin.
The venomous fin spines can inflict a very painful wound. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Neosebastes thetidis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Thetis Fish, Neosebastes thetidis (Waite 1899)

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Off Newcastle, New South Wales, to Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Although relatively common, this species inhabits deeper reefs, and is rarely seen by anglers. 


Dorsal fin XIII, 7-9; Anal fin III, 5-6; Pectoral fin 18-21; Pelvic fin I, 5-6; Pored lateral-line scales 31-38; Longitudinal scale series 50-59; Scale rows between base of last dorsal spine and lateral line 6-7; Gill rakers (well-developed) 1 + 4-6 = 5-7, rudiments 3-5 + 3-8.
Head and body robust, tapering toward caudal-fin base; head armed with low spines; region between eyes flat and scaled. Anterior dorsal-fin spines very long, connected only at base, 4th spine longest; pectoral fins large, hind margin rounded; underside of lower jaw with 3 large distinct pores on either side. 


Taken as bycatch in commercial trawls. 


Although there are confirmed records from Port Phillip in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Thetis Fish no longer occurs in the Bay..


The species is named thetidis after H.M.C.S. Thetis.

Species Citation

Sebastes thetidis Waite 1899, Memoirs of the Australian Museum 4: 100, pl. 20. Type locality: between Port Jackson and Port Kembla, New South Wales, 55-78 fathoms. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Thetis Fish, Neosebastes thetidis (Waite 1899)


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. 

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 

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. 

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 Doi: 10.3853/j.0067-1967.4.1899.428

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287006

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:43-290 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:35 cm TL


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