Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)

Other Names: Japanese Bream, West Australian Bream, Western Yellowfin Seabream, Western Yellow-finned Bream, Yellowfin Bream, Yellowfin Seabream

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni. Source: Barry Hutchins / Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved


A recently described seabream with vivid yellow pelvic, anal and caudal fins, a wide black posterior margin on the caudal fin, and a weak diffuse dark blotch at origin of lateral line.

Until the 2013 description of Acanthopagrus morrisoni, this species was misidentified in Australia as Acanthopagrus latus, which occurs in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.  

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Acanthopagrus morrisoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Apr 2021,

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)

More Info


Endemic to northwestern Australia, from Shark Bay, Western Australia, to Weipa, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. Inhabits estuaries, coastal waters and rarely, the lower freshwater reaches of rivers; often feeds on tidal flats. In Shark Bay, WA, juveniles shelter amongst mangroves, then move to inshore rocky habitats as they mature, whereas they usually remain in mangrove areas in the Dampier region of WA.


Dorsal fin XI, 10-12; Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fin 15-16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Gill rakers 4–6 + 8–10 = 12–15; Lateral line scales (pored) 42-45.

Body moderately deep, 2.0-2.4 times in SL; first soft dorsal-fin ray slightly longer than last dorsal-fin spine; scale rows between fifth dorsal-fin spine base and lateral line 3.5; scale rows above lateral line 4.5, scale rows below 11.5; short second anal-fin spine, ordinary 1.1-1.3.


Head and body silvery grey with a golden sheen and a slight greenish hue reflected; belly pale silver, very weak darker streaks along longitudinal rows of scales; dorsal fin greyish silver to hyaline or yellowish dark grey, pelvic, anal and caudal fins vivid transparent yellow, anal fins lacking black streaks near anal-fin base on inter-radial membranes between anal-fin rays; pectoral fins somewhat yellowish hyaline, darker dorsally, often a very weak blotch at origin and axil of pectoral fin (Iwatsuki 2013).


Feeds on sesarmid crabs and small gastropods.


Acanthopagrus morrisoni is protandrous hermaphrodite, changing sex from male to female at about 35 cm. In Shark Bay, WA, the species forms spawning aggregations and spawns a limited number of times during the short spawning period from late winter to early spring.


An important recreational and commercial species, with a fishery in Shark Bay, Western Australia. The species is taken in the Beach Seine and Mesh Net Fishery and in the Shark Bay Scalefish fishery, which both use beach seine and haul net gear.
Also a popular angling species taken on hook and line.


Named morrisoni in honour of S. Morrison (WAM), who collected the type specimens and tissue samples for the present molecular study. Morrison’s assistance over several years has greatly aided the understanding of the western yellowfin seabream in northwestern Western Australia.

Species Citation

Acanthopagrus morrisoni Iwatsuki, 2013, J. Fish. Biol. 83: 79, fig 4(a). Type locality: Hooley Creek, Ashburton River, Western Australia.


Dianne J. Bray

Western Yellowfin Bream, Acanthopagrus morrisoni (Iwatsuki 2013)


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp. (as A. latus)

Allen, G. 1999. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. (as A. latus)

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. (as A. latus)

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. (as A. latus)

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266. (as A. latus)

Carpenter, K.E. 2001. Sparidae, Lethrinidae. pp. 2990-3050 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. (as A. latus, in part)

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. (as A. latus)

Hesp, S.A. 2003. Biology of two species of sparid on the west coast of Australia 2003. PhD Thesis, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. (as A. latus)

Hesp, S.A., Potter, I.C. & Hall, N.G. 2004. Reproductive biology and protandrous hermaproditism in Acanthopagrus latus. Environ. Biol. Fishes 70: 257–272. (as A. latus)

Hsu, T.-H., Guillén Madrid, A.G., Burridge, C.P., Cheng, H.-Y. & Gwo, J.-C. 2011. Resolution of the Acanthopagrus black seabream complex based on mitochondrial and amplified fragment-length polymorphism analyses. Journal of Fish Biology 79: 1182–1192. (as A. latus)

Iwatsuki, Y. 2013. Review of the Acanthopagrus latus complex (Perciformes: Sparidae) with descriptions of three new species from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology 83(1): 64–95.

Iwatsuki, Y. & Carpenter, K.E. 2006.Acanthopagrus taiwanensis, a new sparid fish (Perciformes), with comparisons toAcanthopagrus berda (Forsskål, 1775) and other nominal species ofAcanthopagrus. Zootaxa 1202: 1-19. (as A. latus)

Iwatsuki, Y., Russell, B. & Pollard, D. 2014. Acanthopagrus morrisoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 16 November 2014.

Munro, I.S.R. 1949. Revision of Australian silver breams, Mylio and Rhabdosargus. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 12(4): 182-223 figs 1-5 pls 16-23 (as Mylio latus)

Platell, M.E., Ang, H.P., Hesp, S.A. & Potter, L.C. 2007. Comparisons between the influences of habitat, body size and season on the dietary composition of the sparid Acanthopagrus latus in a large marine embayment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 72(4): 626-64. (as A. latus)

Travers, M.J. & Potter I.C. 2002. Factors influencing the characteristics of fish assemblages in a large subtropical marine embayment. Journal of Fish Biology 61: 764-784.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37353012

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Recreational & commercial fish

Habitat:Mangroves, rocky areas

Max Size:50 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map