Red Little Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta raoulensis Eschmeyer & Poss 1976

A Red Little Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta raoulensis, collected near Balls Pyramid on the Lord Howe Rise, Tasman Sea, May 2003, depth abut 100m. Source: Kerryn Parkinson / NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A reddish gurnard perch with yellowish pectoral and pelvic fins, three red saddles and a large black blotch on the spinous dorsal fin. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Maxillicosta raoulensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Jan 2020,

Red Little Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta raoulensis Eschmeyer & Poss 1976

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Near Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, and on the Taupo Bank east of Newcastle, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in northern New Zealand - Raoul Island, the Kermadec Islands, and off White Island, northern North Island.

Similar Species

Other members of the genus Maxillicosta, have a pale body with brownish saddles and whitish pectoral and pelvic fins. The Red Little Gurnard Perch also differs from other Australian species of Maxillicosta in having 25-27 pectoral-fin rays (versus 20-24 rays) and 14-17 gill rakers on the first gill arch (versus 10-13 rakers), scales above the lateral line with a strong serrated median ridge (distinct median ridge absent in M. scabriceps and M. whitleyi; serrations absent from median ridge in M. lopholepis), 25–27 pectoral- fin rays (20–23 in M. whitleyi; 21 or 22 in M. lopholepis; 21–23 in M. scabriceps), and 14–17 gill rakers (10 or 11 in M. whitleyi; 11 in M. lopholepis; 11–13 in M. scabriceps).

Species Citation

Maxillicosta raoulensis Eschmeyer & Poss 1976, Bull. Mar. Sci. 26(4): 442, figs 7-8. Type locality: Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands, New Zealnd [29°15'S, 177°57'W]. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Red Little Gurnard Perch, Maxillicosta raoulensis Eschmeyer & Poss 1976


Eschmeyer, W.N. & Poss, S.G. 1976. Review of the scorpionfish genus Maxillicosta (Pisces : Scorpaenidae), with a description of three new species from the Australian-New Zealand region. Bulletin of Marine Science 26(4): 433-449 figs 1-10 PDF available, open access

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Francis, M.P. 1996. Geographic distribution of marine reef fishes in the New Zealand region. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 30: 35-55.

Motomura, H., Last, P.R. & White, W.T. 2005. First records of a scorpionfish, Maxillicosta raoulensis (Scorpaeniformes, Neosebastidae), from the Tasman Sea, with fresh colour notes for the species. Biogeography 7: 85-90.

Motomura, H. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. 155 Family Neosebastidae (pp. 1086-1087), in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287124

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:50–140 m

Habitat:Seamounts, ridges, rises

Max Size:13 cm SL

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