Australian Herring, Arripis georgianus (Valenciennes 1831)

Other Names: Bull Herring, Herring, Rough, Roughy, Ruff, Sea Herring, Tommy, Tommy Rough, Tommy Ruff, Western Herring

Australian Herring, Arripis georgianus. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A popular recreational fish with a greenish to olive-grey body becoming silvery-white below, with bars of golden spots along the side (especially in juveniles), prominent black tips on the caudal fin lobes, large eyes (about one-fifth head length) and rough scales. Large fish have faint darker stripes along the scale rows.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Arripis georgianus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2022,

Australian Herring, Arripis georgianus (Valenciennes 1831)

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Endemic to the southern half of Australia from about Forster, New South Wales, to the Swan River, Western Australia, and around Tasmania.


Dorsal fin IX, 13-14; Anal fin III, 10; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 16–18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 54–59; Gill rakers 46–50.

Body streamlined, of moderate depth (27-32% SL) slightly elongate, little compressed, caudal peduncle rather narrow. Head moderately small (25-28% SL); eyes rather large (27-31% HL), narrow strips of transparent adipose tissue along front and rear edges of each eye in large fish;  preorbital bone with prominent tooth like serrations along lower edge even in large fish;  mouth of moderate size (upper jaw length 42-45% HL), oblique, maxillae reaching below centre of eyes;  teeth small, pointed, narrow band in each jaw. 

Scales moderately small, finely ctenoid but noticeably rough to touch, covering body and head except lower jaw, snout and above eyes; lateral line nearly straight.

Single dorsal fin with long base and low notch between spinous and soft rayed portions, spinous portion noticeably higher than soft portion; anal fin small, about half length of soft portion of dorsal, located posteriorly; caudal fin deeply forked; pectoral fins small; pelvic fins of moderate size, arising below centre of pectoral fins, reaching half way to anus.


Dark olive grey above, silvery white below, with faint lengthwise darker stripes on scale rows; juveniles with golden bars on upper sides, spots in slightly larger individuals; fins pale grey speckled with black; dorsal fin with a blackish margin; caudal fin dark olive with a broad blackish posterior margin, prominent at tips.


Spawn on the west coast of Western Australia from April to June. The eggs and larvae are carried eastward by the Leeuwin Current, and juveniles spend about two years in southern bays and coastal waters, before migrating westward as adults in February and March.


A popular angling fish from taken off sandy beaches, and considered an excellent sports fish on a light rod. The flesh is soft and somewhat oily, and considered good quality.

Species Citation

Centropristis georgianus Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 7: 451. Type locality: King Georges Sound, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Australian Herring, Arripis georgianus (Valenciennes 1831)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37344001

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Pelagic, coastal waters

Max Size:41 cm FL


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