Silverbelly, Parequula melbournensis (Castelnau 1872)

Other Names: Lowfin, Lowfin Silverbelly, Lowfin Silverbiddy, Melbourne Silver Belly, Melbourne Silverbelly, Silver Belly, Silver Biddy, Southern Silverbelly

A Silverbelly, Parequula melbournensis, at Flinders Island, Tasmania. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


A silverbelly with a moderately deep semi-translucent to bluish body, a narrow yellow margin on the dorsal and anal fins, a narrow yellow vertical line on each membrane between the dorsal-fin spines and rays, 16-18 soft anal-fin rays, and 37-40 pored lateral line scales.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Parequula melbournensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,

Silverbelly, Parequula melbournensis (Castelnau 1872)

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia, from Merimbula, New South Wales, to Rottnest Island, Western Australia, and around Tasmania, in depths of 0-100 m.

The Silverbelly is common in shallow inshore waters, often swimming close to sandy or muddy bottoms, or amongst seagrass beds, from the intertidal zone to at least 100 m. Individuals can be solitary of form large schools.


Dorsal fin IX, 16-17; Anal fin III, 17; Pectoral fin 14-15; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin  17; Lateral line scales 37-38.

Body oval, compressed; snout short, pointed; mouth small with highly protrusible jaws; dorsal and anal fins long-based, dorsal fin low at front, higher towards rear; tail base slender, caudal fin slightly forked; scales cycloid, weakly attached.


To 22 cm.


Overall whitish or a silvery-yellow, slightly darker and bluish above; fins translucent, dorsal fin slightly bluish with a yellow margin; upper and lower caudal-fin rays yellow.


Carnivore - feeds on a range of invertebrates, including polychaete worms, molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.


Taken as bycatch in shallow trawl fisheries.

Similar Species

Differs from Parequula elongata in having a deeper  semi-translucent to bluish body, with a thin yellow vertical line along the fin menbrane between the dorsal fin spines and rays; a yellow outer margin to the dorsal and anal fins; 16-18 soft anal-fin rays, and 37-40 pored lateral line scales.

Species Citation

Gerres melbournensis Castelnau 1872, Proc. Zool. Acclim. Soc. Vict. 1: 158  Type locality: Melbourne, Victoria. Australia


Dianne J. Bray

Silverbelly, Parequula melbournensis (Castelnau 1872)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37349001

Behaviour:Sandy, silty, seagrass areas

Depth:0-100 m

Max Size:To 22 cm

Native:Endemic to Australia

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