Raft-fish, Schedophilus maculatus Günther 1860

Other Names: Pelagic Butterfish, Raft Fish

Raft-fish, Schedophilus maculatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Schedophilus maculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/497

Raft-fish, Schedophilus maculatus Günther 1860

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Southern Queensland to Bass Strait, Victoria; also the Lord Howe Province and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species may be circumglobal in temperate seas (other species may have been misidentified as this species).
An oceanic-pelagic species found in and over deep waters. Juveniles are epipelagic and often shelter beneath jellyfishes, siphonophores such as Physalia (blue bottles), and floating macroalgal rafts.


Dorsal fin VIII, 27-29; Anal fin III, 23-24; Pectoral fin 19-21; Gill rakers 6 + 1 + 14-15; Vertebrae 29.
Series of single pores along body at base of each dorsal-fin ray. 


Feed on a range of pelagic fishes, squids, crustaceans and jellyfishes.


The specific name is from the Latin maculatus (= spotted), in reference to the pattern of large spots on the body of juveniles.

Species Citation

Schedophilus maculatus Günther 1860, Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum Vol. 2: 412. Type locality: Sea of China.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Raft-fish, Schedophilus maculatus Günther 1860


Gavrilov, G.M. & Markina, N.P. 1979. The feeding ecology of fishes of the genus Seriolella (fam. Nomeidae) on the New Zealand Plateau. Journal of Ichthyolopgy 19(6): 128-135.

Günther, A. 1860. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Squamipinnes, Cirrhitidae, Triglidae, Trachinidae, Sciaenidae, Polynemidae, Sphyraenidae, Trichiuridae, Scombridae, Carangidae, Xiphiidae. London : British Museum Vol. 2 548 pp. See ref at BHL

Haedrich, R.L. 1967. The stromateoid fishes: systematics and a classification. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 135(5): 31-139 See ref at BHL

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kner, R. & Steindachner, F. 1867. Über neue Fische aus dem Museum der Herren Johann Caesar Godeffroy und Sohn in Hamburg. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 54(1): 356-395 4 pls (described as Schedophilus marmoratus) See ref at BHL

Last, P.R., Daley, R.K. & Duhamel, G. 2013. A review of the rudderfish genus Tubbia (Stromateoidei: Centrolophidae) with the description of a new species from the Southern Hemisphere. Zootaxa 3616(5): 461-477 http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3616.5.3

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp. 

McDowall, R.M. 1980. First adults of Schedophilus maculatus Günther, 1860 (Stromateoidei: Centrolophidae). Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 10(2): 145-151 figs 1-2 https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.1980.10427171

McDowall, R.M. 1982. The centrolophid fishes of New Zealand (Pisces : Stromateoidei). Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 12(2): 103-142 figs 1-20 https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.1982.10419436

McDowall, R.M. 2001. Centrolophidae. pp. 3767-3770 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218. 

Parin, N.V. & Piotrovsky, A.S. 2004. Stromateoid fishes (suborder Stromateoidei) of the Indian Ocean (species composition, distribution, biology, and fisheries). Journal of Ichthyology 44(Suppl. 1): 33-62 

Stewart, A.L., Last, P.R. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. 235 Family Centrolophidae. pp. 1648-1661 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds) 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.19.1933.691 (described as Hoplocoryphis physaliarum)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37445017

Depth:300-1110 m

Habitat:Oceanic, pelagic, deep water

Max Size:30 cm TL

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