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Genus Chrysophrys Quoy & Gaimard, 1824


Members of the genus Pagrus were referred to Chrysophrys in Australia and New Zealand, until Chrysophrys was synonymised with Pagrus by Paulin (1990). Molecular work (Day 2002; Orrelll et al. 2002; Orrell & Carpenter 2004; Chiba et al. 2009) has questioned the monophyly of the subfamilies and genera within the family, including Pagrus. Mitochondrial DNA suggested more similarity between Pagrus auratus and Evynnis from Japan and Argyrops, but not to Atlantic species of Pagrus. However many of these studies have not agreed with morphological classifications based on dentition of adults. Leis et al. (2002) provided evidence for separation of Chrysophrys and Pagrus based on larval characters and Gomon (2008) also recognised Chrysophrys for the Australian species. Dr. Yukio Iwatsuki of Miyazaki University in Japan is soon to publish information confirming that the two genera should be separate (Leis et al. 2014), with Pagrus confined to the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently we revert to the older name Chrysophrys auratus for the Australian species.




New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Atlantic-Indo-west Pacific.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Lord Howe Province (14), Norfolk Island Province (21), Central Western Shelf Province (29), Southwest Shelf Transition (30), Southwest Shelf Province (31), Great Australian Bight Shelf Transition (32), Spencer Gulf Shelf Province (33), Western Bass Strait Shelf Transition (34), Bass Strait Shelf Province (35), Tasmanian Shelf Province (36), Southeast Shelf Transition (37), Central Eastern Shelf Province (38), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40)

General References

Chiba, S.N., Iwatsuki Y., Yoshino T. & Hanzawa, N. 2009. Comprehensive phylogeny of the family Sparidae (Perciformes: Teleostei) inferred from mitochondrial gene analyses. Genes and Genetic Systems 84(2): 153-170

Day, J.J. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of the Sparidae (Teleostei: Percoidei) and implications for convergent trophic evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London 76(2): 269–301

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Emmelichthyidae, Gerreidae, Sparidae, Sciaenidae, Mullidae. pp. 585-592 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Leis, J.M., Gomon, M.F. & Hoese, D.F. 2014. The scientific name for snapper. Australian Society for Fish Biology Newsletter 43(2): 7-9

Leis, J.M., Trnski, T. & Beckley, L.E. 2002. Larval development of Pagellus natalensis and what larval morphology indicates about relationships in the perciform fish family Sparidae (Teleostei). Marine and Freshwater Research 53: 367–376

Orrell, T.M., Carpenter, K.E., Musick, J.A. & Graves, J.E. 2002. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the Sparidae (Perciformes: Percoidei) from cytochrome b sequences. Copeia 2002(3): 618-631

Orrell, T.M. & Carpenter, K.E. 2004. A phylogeny of the fish family Sparidae (porgies) inferred from mitochondrial sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 425-434

Paulin, C. 1990. Pagrus auratus, a new combination for the species known as "snapper" in Australasian waters (Pisces: Sparidae). New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 24: 259-265


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
18-Dec-2014 SPARIDAE 20-Feb-2014 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese
14-Dec-2012 14-Dec-2012 MODIFIED
30-Mar-2010 MODIFIED