Mozambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica (Smith 1957)

Other Names: Large-eye Sea Bream, Large-eyed Bream, Mozambique Large-eye Bream

Mossambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A silver-grey seabream with a yellowish tinge, sometimes with diffuse blotches or bars, yellow lips, yellow fins sometimes with pale brown spots, and a dark bar across the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Wattsia mossambica in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Oct 2021,

Mozambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica (Smith 1957)

More Info


North West Shelf, WA, to the Timor Sea north-west of Darwin, Northern Territory, and off the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to off Ballina, New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the  tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.


Dorsal fin X, 10; Anal fin III, 10. 
Scales absent from inner surface of pectoral fin axil; longitudinal denticulate ridge present on maxilla; caudal fin forked with distinctly rounded lobes.


Silvery-grey with a yellowish tinge, brownish scale margins, sometimes with indistinct dark blotches or bars on body; dark bar across pectoral-fin base; soft dorsal, anal, and caudal fins sometimes with faint brown spots.


Carnivore - feeds on benthic invertebrates and small fishes.


Of minor commercial importance in some areas.


The species is named mossambica after the type locality.

Species Citation

Gnathodentex mossambicus Smith 1957, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 12 10: 122. Type locality: Mozambique. 


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Mozambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica (Smith 1957)


Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae, Lethrinidae. pp. 2990-3050 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

Carpenter, K.E. & Allen, G.R. 1989. FAO Species Catalogue. Emperor fishes and large-eye breams of the world (family Lethrinidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of lethrinid species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis. No. 125, Vol. 9. Rome : FAO 118 pp.

Chan, W.L. & Chilvers, R.M. 1974. A revision of the Indo-Pacific spariform percoids of the Monotaxinae, with the description of a new genus Wattsia. Hong Kong Fisheries Bulletin 4: 85-95.

Fricke, R., Kulbicki, M. & Wantiez, L. 2011. Checklist of the fishes of New Caledonia, and their distribution in the Southwest Pacific Ocean (Pisces). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) Neue Serie 4: 341-463.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Kramer, S.H., Kramer, S.M. & Newman, S.J. 1994. New deep-water fish records from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Pacific Science 48(1): 70-79.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Smith, J.L.B. 1957. Deep-line fishing in northern Mozambique, with the description of a new pentapodid fish. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12 10: 121-124, pl.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37351027

Depth:100–300 m

Fishing:Minor commercial, recreational fish

Max Size:57 cm TL

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