Mozambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica (Smith 1957)

Other Names: Large-eye Sea Bream, Large-eye Seabream, 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:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Wattsia mossambica in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Mozambique Seabream, Wattsia mossambica (Smith 1957)

More Info


North West Shelf, WA, to the Timor Sea north-west of Darwin, Northern Territory, and the Coral Sea off the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to off Ballina, New South Wales; may also occur in the Lord Howe Province 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.


Feeds on benthic invertebrates and small fishes.


Of minor commercial importance in some areas.


The species is named mossambica after Mozambique, the type locality.

Species Citation

Gnathodentex mossambicus Smith 1957, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 12 10: 122. Type locality: Pinda reef, 14┬░10'S, Mozambique, western Indian Ocean, depth 70 fathoms. 


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

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.

Carpenter, K.E., Lawrence, A. & Myers, R. 2016. Wattsia mossambica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16721842A16722465. Accessed on 08 February 2022.

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 Beitr├Ąge 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.

Sih, T.L., Cappo, M. & Kingsford, M. 2017. Deep-reef fish assemblages of the Great Barrier Reef shelf-break (Australia). Scientific Reports 7: 10886.

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 (Ser. 12) 10 (110): 121-124, pl.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37351027

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:100-309 m

Fishing:Minor commercial, recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:57 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map