Luderick, Girella tricuspidata (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

Other Names: Black Bream, Blackbream, Blackfish, Darkie, Mangrove Fish, Nigger, Nigger Fish, Pacific Bream, Parore, Rockperch

A Luderick, Girella tricuspidata, at Shelly Beach, New South Wales, October 2015. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Luderick are have 11-12 fine dark tapering bars on a bluish-grey to greyish-brown body that fades to silvery-white below. They also have a small mouth, a small eye, a large tail, and evenly arched dorsal and ventral profiles.
Great video by Ian Banks of Luderick gathering to spawn on the Gold Coast Seaway.  The males are pale with a dark head.
Video of Luderick at Shelly Beach, Manly, New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Girella tricuspidata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Luderick, Girella tricuspidata (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

More Info


South of Mackay, Queensland, to Spencer Gulf, South Australia, including north-eastern Tasmania. Elsewhere, the species occurs in New Zealand.
Luderick inhabit shallow coastal and estuarine waters, often forming large schools around rocky outcrops and jetties. Small juveniles usually shelter amongst seagrass.


Dorsal fin XIV-XVI (usually XV), 11-12; Anal fin III, 11-12; Caudal fin 17: Pectoral fin 16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral-line scales 48-51.  
Body moderately deep (38-44% SL), compressed, dorsal and ventral profiles evenly arched; caudal peduncle moderately shallow. Head small, (27-34% SL), forehead slightly convex; eyes small (20-29% HL); mouth small, not reaching below eyes, maxillae concealed beneath respective preorbital bones; each jaw with outer row of overlapping, flattened, tricuspid teeth bordering broad band of minute teeth of similar shape.
Scales moderately small, ctenoid, covering body, most of cheeks, upper half of opercles and bases of dorsal and anal fins; lateral line continuous, parallel with upper profile of body.  
Dorsal fin continuous with little demarcation between spinous and soft portions, base of spinous portion 1.6-1.9 times as long as that of soft part, middle spines longest, only slightly shorter than longest soft rays, soft rays decreasing in length only slightly posteriorly; anal fin similar to and opposite soft part of dorsal fin; caudal fin very large, broadly forked. Pectoral fins small, upper rays longest. Pelvic fins small, inserted behind vertical through origin of pectoral fin bases by distance greater than snout length.


Dark greenish-grey above, silvery grey on sides and belly, with about 11 narrow dark vertical bars below the dorsal fin, fading on the lower part of the body; head and pectoral fins occasionally yellowish; fins otherwise pigmented as adjacent portions of body.
Luderick found in estuaries are usually dark greyish to brown, whereas those in coastal waters are usually bluish-grey.


Feeds mostly on seagrass, filamentous algae and detritus. Luderick may also consume small molluscs, crustaceans and polychaete worms.


Adults form large aggregations, and undertake 'runs' from rivers, estuaries and coastal lakes to spawn in the mouths of estuaries and the surf zone. Juveniles usually settle out seagrass beds, and move to the deeper parts of estuaries and coastal reefs as they grow.


A very popular angling species, especially in Queensland and New South Wales. Luderick are commonly taken by anglers using long, flexible rods, very small hooks and pencil floats with green filamentous weed as bait. Minimum legal size and bag/possession limits are enforced by State fisheries departments in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The species is fished commercially in New South Wales.


The specific name tricuspidata is from the Latin tri (= three) and cuspidatus (= pointed), in reference to the three cusps on the teeth of this species.

Species Citation

Boops tricuspidata Quoy & Gaimard 1824, Voyage autour du monde: 296. Type locality: uncertain.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Luderick, Girella tricuspidata (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37361007

Depth:0-20 m

Fishing:Recreational & commercial fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:70 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map