Western Pomfred, Schuettea woodwardi (Waite 1905)

Other Names: Woodwards Pomfret, Woodward's Pomfret

A Western Pomfred, Schuettea woodwardi. Source: Rudie Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved


A deep-bodied silvery pomfred with large eyes, long-based symmetrical dorsal and anal fins that are high at the front, and small pelvic fins. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins are yellowish, with dark fin margins, and the tall tip on the dorsal fin is blackish. 

The Western Pomfred forms schools in bays, harbours and shallow, often protected coastal waters to 30 m. The species is most common along the west coast of Western Australia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Schuettea woodwardi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/582

Western Pomfred, Schuettea woodwardi (Waite 1905)

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southwestern Australia, from about Victor Harbor, South Australia, to Shark Bay, Western Australia. 

The Western Pomfred congregates in schools in shallow coastal waters, and usually shelters in caves and under overhangs during the day. It is most common along the west coast of Western Australia. 


Dorsal fin V, 28-30; Anal fin III, 29-32; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 14-15; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line 46-47.

Body oval, deep (56-59% SL), greatly compressed. Head of moderate size (34-36% SL); eyes large (45-48% HL); mouth terminal, oblique, reaching to below anterior edge of eyes; teeth minute, in single row on each jaw. 

Scales cycloid, moderately small, weakly attached, covering body, most of head and vertical fin bases; lateral line continuous, parallel with dorsal profile on upper portion of side.

Single long based dorsal fin arising above centre of pectoral fins, first spine small, subsequent spines progressively much longer, first few soft rays slightly longer, followed by markedly shorter rays becoming more and more similar in length posteriorly, giving fin concave outer margin; anal fin opposite and of similar size and shape as soft portion of dorsal fin; caudal fin forked, of moderate size.  Pectoral fins small, angled dorso-posteriorly, upper rays longest. Pelvic fins very small, inserted below pectoral-fin bases.


To 24 cm.


Adults silver with yellow dorsal, anal and caudal fins with dark margins. Juveniles with a vertical yellow band extending from the tip of the dorsal fin to the tip of the anal fin.


Feeds on zooplankton, especially on planktonic crustaceans.


Of no interest to fisheries.

Similar Species

The Eastern Pomfred, Schuettea scalaripinnis, has a golden-yellow back and fins, and a narrow dark bar behind the head.

Species Citation

Bramichthys woodwardi Waite, 1905, Rec. Austr. Mus., 6(2): 72, pl. 14. Type locality: Mandurah, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Western Pomfred, Schuettea woodwardi (Waite 1905)


  • Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Victoria : Reed Books, pp. 126-144.
  • Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Monodactylidae, Arripidae, Kyphosidae, Girellidae, Microcanthidae, Scorpididae. pp. 596-607 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.
  • Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
  • Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Family Monodactylidae. pp. 605-606, fig. 534 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.
  • Waite, E.R. 1905. Notes on fishes from Western Australia. No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 6(2): 55-82 fig. 23 pls 8-17
  • Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37356003

    Behaviour:Schooling species

    Depth:0-30 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:24 cm

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