Jackass Morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus (Forster 1801)

Other Names: Deep Sea Perch, Deepsea Perch, Jackass Fish, Morwong, Mowi, Mowie, Sea Bream, Silver Perch, Squeeker Perch, Tarakihi, Terakihi

A Jackass Morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus, in Waubs Bay, Bicheno, Tasmania, April 2018. Source: acanthaster / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large silvery-grey morwong with a broad black band or crescent-shaped marking from the nape to the pectoral-fin base, and a greatly elongated 7th pectoral-fin ray.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Nemadactylus macropterus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/433

Jackass Morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus (Forster 1801)

More Info


Off Broken Bay, New South Wales, to Rottnest Island, Western Australia, including around Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand.
Individuals or large schools usually inhabit deeper reefs in depths to 400 m, although they occasionally enter large coastal bays.


Feeds on benthic invertebrates including polychaete worms, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms.


Like other morwongs, this species has an extended pelagic postlarval stage. In New Zealand, metamorphosis to the juvenile settlement stage occurs between 9 and 12 months after hatching.


Taken by recreational and commercial fishers.


Although Francis (1993) recorded the species from Norfolk Island, he excluded it in his 2019 checklist (Francis 2019).

Similar Species

The similar King Tarakihi, Nemadactylus sp. differs in having pale pectoral fins with a broad blackish margin. King Tarakihi also grow to a larger size that the Jackass Morwong.

Species Citation

Cichla macroptera Forster, in Bloch & Schneider 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae: 342. Type locality: South Island, New Zealand.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Jackass Morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus (Forster 1801)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37377003

Depth:0-400 m

Fishing:Commercial/recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:80 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map