Giant Boarfish, Paristiopterus labiosus (Günther 1872)

Other Names: Duckfish, Giant Penfish, Long-snouted Boarfish, Sowfish

A Giant Boarfish, Paristiopterus labiosus, in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved


A large boarfish with a moderately deep, compressed body, exposed striated head bones, a low knob on the nape and a very long concave snout, that becomes longer and deeper with age. Anal fin with two spines.

Greenish brown above, paler below, with 3 broad indistinct oblique stripes across body. Adult males are sometimes peppered with yellow spots.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Paristiopterus labiosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jan 2020,

Giant Boarfish, Paristiopterus labiosus (Günther 1872)

More Info


Known from temperate waters of Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, the Giant Boarfish has been recorded from Hervey Bay, Queensland. to Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, and to southeastern Tasmania, in depths of 20–130 m


Meristic features: Dorsal fin VII-VIII, 16-18; Anal fin II, 8-10; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line 85-96.

Body moderately deep, compressed, with exposed striated head bones, a low knob on the nape and a very long concave snout, becoming longer and deeper with age.

Dorsal fin spines long an dslender in juveniles, proportionally shorter and more stout in adults; soft fin rays only slightly taller anteriorly, not forming a pointed lobe. Anal fin with 2 spines, pectoral-fin base in front of pelvic-fin bas, tail slightly concave.


To a total length of 100 cm.


Greenish brown above, underside paler, with 3 broad indistinct oblique stripes across body. Adult males sometimes peppered with yellow spots.





Taken in commercial trawl fisheries and marketed fresh.


Similar Species


Species Citation


Dianne J. Bray


Giant Boarfish, Paristiopterus labiosus (Günther 1872)


Bray, D.J., Hoese, D.F. & Paxton, J.R. 2006. Pentacerotidae (pp. 1312–1316). In  Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35 ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl (112, as Richardsonia insignis)

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Pentacerotidae (pp. 611–617). In Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. The Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, Australia.

Günther, A. 1872. Report on several collections of fishes recently obtained for the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871(3): 652-675 pls 53-70 [658, pl. 59, as Histiopterus labiosus]

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

Hardy, G.S. 1994. Pentacerotidae. pp. 629-636, figs 553-559 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

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Kim, S-Y. 2012. Phylogenetic Systematics of the Family Pentacerotidae (Actinopterygii: Order Perciformes). Zootaxa 3366: 1–111.

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

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs

Russell, B.C. 1983. The food and feeding habits of rocky reef fish of north-eastern New Zealand. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 17(2): 121-145.

Waite, E.R. 1898. Report upon Trawling Operations off the Coast of New South Wales between the Manning River and Jervis Bay, carried on by H.M.C.S. Thetis. Scientific report on the fishes. pp. 23–62 pls 1–12 [33, pl. 4, as Histiopterus farnelli]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37367002

Depth:20-130 metres

Fishing:Commercial fish

Max Size:100 cm TL

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