Striped Boarfish, Evistias acutirostris (Temminck & Schlegel 1844)

Other Names: Japanese Boarfish, Whiskered Boarfish

A Striped Boarfish, Evistias acutirostris. Source: Ian Skipworth / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY Attribution


This large deep-bodied boarfish has long, stubby 'whisker-like' villi on the chin, five dark bands on the body, and yellow dorsal, anal and caudal fins. Striped Boarfish occur at Lord Howe Island region and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea, where pairs are sometimes seen around deeper drop-offs, overhangs and nearby sandy areas.

Video of a Striped Boarfish at Oshima-machi, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Evistias acutirostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024,

Striped Boarfish, Evistias acutirostris (Temminck & Schlegel 1844)

More Info


Known in Australia's maritime waters, from Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Western-Central Pacific: New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii and Easter Island.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, often in pairs, usually deeper reefs, deep rocky drop-offs and nearby sandy areas in depths of 10–180 m.


Dorsal fin IV-V, 26-28; Anal fin III-IV, 11-14; Vertebrae 27.

Body very deep, broadly rounded below dorsal-fin rays, snout slightly elongate, robust in adults, lips and chin with dense ‘whisker-like’ villi, those on chin very long and sometimes divided; dorsal fin tall, sail-like with a convex posterior margin; dorsal spines stout, progressively increasing in length; anteriormost dorsal-fin rays much longer than posteriormost fin spine.


To 90 cm in length.


Carnivore - reportedly feeds on brittle stars at night in Hawaii.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Histiopterus typus in having a deeper, striped body, and short dorsal and anal-fin spines (vs. third and fourth dorsal, and third anal-fin spines elongate in Histiopterus).

Species Citation

Histiopterus acutirostris Temminck & Schlegel 1844, Fauna Japonica 4(5–6): 88. Type locality: Nagasaki, Japan


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Striped Boarfish, Evistias acutirostris (Temminck & Schlegel 1844)


Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 (as Histiopterus acutirostris)

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp. (as Histiopterus acutirostris)

Coleman, N. 2002. Lord Howe Island Marine Park. Neville Coleman, 96 pp.

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pac. Sci. 47(2): 136-170.

Francis, M.P. & Randall, J.E. 1993. Further additions to the fish faunas of Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 118-135 figs 1-22 pls 1-4

Hardy, G.S. 1983. A revision of the fishes of the family Pentacerotidae (Perciformes). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 10: 177-220 figs 1-13

Hernández, S., García, M., Gaymer, C.F. & Friedlander, A.M. 2015. First records of striped boarfish Evistias acutirostris and ornate butterflyfish Chaetodon ornatissimus from Easter Island. Pacific Science 69(4): 525-529 Open access

Jordan, D.S. 1907. A review of the fishes of the family Histiopteridae found in the waters of Japan; with a note on Tephritis Günther. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 32(1523): 235-239

Kim, S.-Y. 2012. Phylogenetic systematics of the family Pentacerotidae (Actinopterygii: Order Perciformes). Zootaxa 3366: 1-111. PDF Open access

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1844. Pisces. 73-112 pls 37-59, 60 (in part) in Siebold, P. Fr. de (ed.). Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(5–6)

Trnski, T.  2015. 189 Family Pentacerotidae, pp. 1308-1313 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Whitley, G.P. 1932. Studies in Ichthyology No. 6. Records of the Australian Museum 18(6): 321-348 figs 1-3 pls 36-39

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37367011

Depth:10-180 m

Fishing:Aquarium, commercial fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max weight:90 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map