Lesser-scaled Cockatoo Waspfish, Ablabys pauciporus Chungthanawong & Motomura 2018

A bright reddish-orange waspfish becoming paler below, with a prominent white blotch on the body above the lateral line, a white stripe along the snout profile, and bright reddish-orange fins with small whitish spots.
The Lesser-scaled Cockatoo Waspfish is only known from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Ablabys pauciporus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jan 2021,

Lesser-scaled Cockatoo Waspfish, Ablabys pauciporus Chungthanawong & Motomura 2018

More Info


Endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and known only from Swain Reefs at depths between 44-65 m.


Diagnostic characters: XVI or XVII, 5 or 6 dorsal-fin rays; III, 4 or 5 anal-fin rays; 11 pectoral-fin rays; 12 or 13 lateral-line pores; 47–55 scale rows in longitudinal series; 0 or 1 scale row above lateral line; 17 or 18 scale rows below lateral line; 4 or 5 scale rows between last dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line; 1–4 scale rows between sixth dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line; scales covering thorax; interspinous dorsal-fin membranes strongly notched; last dorsal-fin soft ray joined posteriorly by membrane to dorsal edge of caudal peduncle but not to upper margin of caudal fin; head length 37.7–38.7% (mean 38.2%) of SL; head depth 28.1–30.3% (29.1%) of SL; orbit diameter 12.4–12.7% (12.5%) of SL; anal-fin base length 19.8–22.8% (21.2%) of SL; pectoral-fin length 37.5–41.8% (39.9%) of SL; longest pelvic-fin soft ray length 30.5–31.2% (30.9%) of SL; large white blotch (sometimes indistinct) on mid-body above lateral line; body bright reddish orange with small whitish spots on fins (in fresh specimens); whitish fins (in preserved specimens); vertebrae 9 + 15.

Similar Species

Differs fromthe Cockatoo Waspfish, Ablabys taenianotus, in having  distinctly lower counts of body scales, including the number of lateral-line pores (12 or 13 vs. 20–25 in A. taenianotus), strongly notched interspinous dorsal-fin membranes (vs. weakly notched or unnotched in A. taenianotus), and some differing morphometrics (including head depth, orbit diameter and pelvic-fin length) and in coloration.


The specific name pauciporus is derived from Latin and means 'few pores', in reference to the low number of lateral-line pores.

Species Citation

Ablabys pauciporus Chungthanawong & Motomura 2018,  Ichthyological Research 6(1)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-018-0665-0


Bray, D.J. 2019

Lesser-scaled Cockatoo Waspfish, Ablabys pauciporus Chungthanawong & Motomura 2018


Chungthanawong, S. & Motomura, H. 2018. Two new species of the waspfish genus Ablabys (Scorpaeniformes: Tetrarogidae) from the western Pacific Ocean. Ichthyological Research 66(1): 114–128a https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-018-0665-0

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37287144

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:44-65 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:53 cm SL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map