Owstonia sarmiento (Liao, Reyes and Shao 2009)

Owstonia sarmiento, from Luzon, Philippines, PNM 17006, 61 mm SL. Source: Fig 70 (after Liao et al. 2009) Smith-Vaniz & Johnson (2016) Zootaxa 4187(1). License: All rights reserved

A small slender reddish bandfish becoming whitish below, with a whitish margin on the fins, and black pigmentation between the membrane of the maxilla and premaxilla. The species has short pelvic fins that do not reach the anal-fin base, and the lateral line extends forward beyond the dorsal fin origin and forms a loop across the top of the head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Owstonia sarmiento in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Mar 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5382

Owstonia sarmiento (Liao, Reyes and Shao 2009)

More Info


Western Coral Sea from north of Townsville to east of Dunk Island, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia.


Dorsal fin III,23; Anal fin II,14; Pectoral fin 19; Pelvic fin I,5; Caudal fin 17-19; Vertebrae 29; Branchiostegal rays 6; Gill rakers 13-14 +1 +26-28 = 36-41. 
Scales: cheek with 2–3 rows of 8–10 scales, lateral rows of scale from gill opening to caudal 27–30 and 3 more scales on caudal fin, lateral line scales 23–29 connected in front of dorsal fin, other 4 lateral scales downward to gill opening, predorsal scales 2. Pelvic fin short, not extending to anal fin base.


Reddish with orange eyes, operculum and maxilla reddish to whitish, membrane between maxilla and pre-maxilla entirely pigmented, membrane between maxilla and posterior lower jaw pigmented, pectoral fins reddish, pelvic fins whitish; dorsal, anal, and caudal fins reddish with white outer margin and one red band along the basal of white margin; belly whitish.


The species is named for Malcolm Sarmiento, then director of the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Species Citation

Sphenanthias sarmiento Liao, Reyes & Shao 2009, Raffles Bull. Zool. 57(2): 522, Figs. 1A, 1B. Type locality: Aurora, East Luzon, Philippines, 15.96°N, 121.78°E, depth 307-292 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Owstonia sarmiento (Liao, Reyes and Shao 2009)


Fricke, R., Allen, G.R., Andréfouët, S., Chen, W.-J., et al. 2014. Checklist of the marine and estuarine fishes of Madang District, Papua New Guinea, western Pacific Ocean, with 820 new records. Zootaxa 3832(1): 1-247.

Liao, Y.-C., Reyes, R.B., Jr. & Shao, K.-T. 2009. A new bandfish, Owstonia sarmiento (Pisces: Perciformes: Cepolidae: Owstoniinae), from the Philippines with a key to the species of the genus. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 57: 521-515. https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12348/1424

Liao, Y.-C., Reyes, R.B., Jr. & Shao, K.-T. 2022. Owstonia aurora (Perciformes: Cepolidae: Owstoniinae), a new bandfish from the Philippines. Zootaxa 5189(1): 122-130. https://doi.org/10.11646/ZOOTAXA.5189.1.14

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Johnson, G.D. 2016. Hidden diversity in deep-water bandfishes: review of Owstonia with descriptions of twenty-one new species (Teleostei: Cepolidae: Owstoniinae). Zootaxa 4187(1): 1–103 https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4187.1.1

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37380016

Depth:215-415 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8.4 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map