Blue Moki, Latridopsis ciliaris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

A Blue Moki, Latridopsis ciliaris, in the North Island, New Zealand, February 2016. Source: ricjo007 / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A greyish-blue trumpeter with obvious stripes along the scale rows. Blue Moki are rare in Australian waters, occasionally occurring off Tasmania, with a single record from Sydney. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Latridopsis ciliaris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Aug 2022,

Blue Moki, Latridopsis ciliaris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

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Rare in Australia - recorded from just south of Botany Bay, Sydney, and off northeastern Tasmania to the Derwent River. Elsewhere the species is widespread in New Zealand. Juveniles inhabit shallow rocky shores, while adults usually school over offshore sandy areas.


Dorsal fin XVI-XVII, 37-43; Anal fin III, 31-37; Pectoral fin 16-19.
Body moderately ovoid to elongate, highly compressed; caudal peduncle narrow; snout pointed, mouth terminal; lips not as enlarged as other species in Latridae. Strong notch present between spinous and soft dorsal fins; dorsal fin spines not enlarged, no spines significantly longer than others; anal fin long, reaching caudal peduncle; pectoral-fin rays not greatly elongated, upper rays longer than lower rays, distal edges of fins rounded. Scales cycloid.


Feeds on a range of benthic invertebrates.


Fishes commercially in New Zealand where it is a popular table fish.

Species Citation

Anthias ciliaris Forster, 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae: 310. Type locality: New Zealand.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Australian Faunal Directory

Blue Moki, Latridopsis ciliaris (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


Ayling, T. & Cox, G.J. 1982. Collins Guide to the Seafishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Collins 343 pp. 48 pls 475 figs.

Forster, J.R. in Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin. 584 pp. 110 pls

Francis, M. 2001. Coastal Fishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Reed Publishing (NZ) 3rd edn, 103 pp.

Gill, T.N. 1862. Synopsis of the family of cirrhitoids. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 14(3): 102-122.

Kimura, K., H. Imamura, H. & Kawai, T. 2018. Comparative morphology and phylogenetic systematics of the families Cheilodactylidae and Latridae (Perciformes: Cirrhitoidea), and proposal of a new classification. Zootaxa 4536(1): 1-72.

Ludt, W.B., Burridge, C.P. & Chakrabarty, P. 2019. A taxonomic revision of Cheilodactylidae and Latridae (Centrarchiformes: Cirrhitoidei) using morphological and genomic characters. Zootaxa 4585 (1): 121–141,

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279.

Paulin, C.D. & Roberts, C.D. 1992. The rockpool fishes of New Zealand. Te ika aaria o Aotearoa. Wellington : Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 177 pp.

Roberts, C.D. 2003. A new species of trumpeter (Teleostei; Percomorpha; Latridae) from the central South Pacific Ocean, with a taxonomic review of the striped trumpeter Latris lineata. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 33(4): 731-754.

Roberts, C.D. 2015. 200 Family Latridae, pp. 1358-1362, 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.

Smith, P.J., Gaffney, P.M. & Roberts, C.D. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of the silver trumpeter Latris pacifica (Teleostei, Percomorpha, Latridae) based on allozymes and mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 33(4): 755-767,

Smith, P.J., Roberts, C.D. & Benson, P.G. 2001. Biochemical-genetic and meristic evidence that blue and copper moki (Teleostei: Latridae: Latridopsis) are discrete species. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35: 375-395.

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37378003

Depth:0-160 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:90 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map