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Armoured Gurnards, Armoured Sea Robins, Gurnards, Sea Robins, Searobins

Compiler and date details

18 April 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Martin F. Gomon, Douglass F. Hoese , John R. Paxton & Jennifer E. Gates,

John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray, Martin F. Gomon & Douglass F. Hoese


The Triglidae comprise 8 genera and more than 120 species worldwide (Eschmeyer & Fong 2012). Thirty-three species in four genera are recorded from Australian waters. Previously the family Peristeidae was included here, but is now treated as a separate family.

Gurnards are benthic fishes found primarily in the shelf waters of all oceans, with a few species occurring close inshore and others, mostly the armoured sea robins, on the upper slope. Recorded food items include crustaceans, fishes, polychaetes and molluscs. The head is distinctly armoured in solid bone and the pectoral fin has free, enlarged lower rays. A few of the temperate species are of some commercial importance in Australia. Maximum length is 1 m.

Triglids have not been reviewed recently. Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola (1984) described and figured 23 species of triglids from north-west Australia and southern Indonesia. Richards & Saksena (1977) revised eight Indian Ocean species of Lepidotrigla, and Richards (1992) treated various species of Lepidotrigla. Richards & Jones (2002) presented a preliminary classification. Richards et al. (2003) reviewed the Pterygotrigla subgenus Otohime; del Cerro & Lloris (1995 and 1997) described two new species of Lepidotrigla from off northern Australia and Queensland; Last & Richards (2012) described two new species of Pterygotrigla from Australia; Richards & Yato (2012) reviewed tropical species of the subgenus Pterygotrigla and in 2014 Parapterygotrigla. del Cerro & Lloris (1997) treated species from New Caledonia, and Gomon (1994) and Gomon & Last (2008) treated southern Australian species. Washington et al. (1984) described triglid early life history. Keys to tropical genera and species are given in Richards (1999).

A number of undescribed species are known from Australia. The Australian species are under study by M.F. Gomon (Museum Victoria) and P. Last (of CSIRO) and some of the names used here are tentative; additional species are likely to be added..


General References

del Cerro, L. & Lloris, D. 1995. A new species of Lepidotrigla (Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) from the waters off northern Australia. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 12: 177-184 figs 1-5

del Cerro, L. & Lloris, D. 1997. A new species of Lepidotrigla (Scorpaeniformes, Triglidae) from the waters off Queensland (Australia). Scientia Marina 61(1): 45-52 figs 1-5

del Cerro, L. & Lloris, D. 1997. Gurnard fishes (Scorpaeniformes, Triglidae) from off New Caledonia, with descriptions of five new species. Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] 174: 91-127

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fong, J.D. 2012. Species of Fishes by family/subfamily. Catalog of Fishes. Online version updated 15 March 2012.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Triglidae. pp. 494-505 figs 442-450 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.

Gomon, M.F. & Last, P.R. 2008. Family Triglidae. pp. 508-514 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [508]

Last, P.R. & Richards, W.J. 2012. Two new gurnards of the genus Pterygotrigla (Scorpaeniformes: Triglidae) from Australian seas. Zootaxa 3195: 39–50

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.

Richards, W.J. 1992. Comments on the genus Lepidotrigla (Pisces: Triglidae) with descriptions of two new species from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Bulletin of Marine Science 51(1): 45-65

Richards, W.J. 1999. Family Triglidae. pp. 2359-2382 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Richards, W.J., Yato, T. & Last, P.R. 2003. Revision of the gurnard fish subgenus Otohime (Triglidae: Pterygotrigla). Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 2: 1-18

Richards, W.J. & Jones, D.L. 2002. Preliminary classification of the gurnards (Triglidae: Scorpaeniformes). Marine and Freshwater Research 53(2): 275-282

Richards, W.J. & Saksena, V.P. 1977. Systematics of the gurnards, genus Lepidotrigla (Pisces, Triglidae), from the Indian Ocean. Bulletin of Marine Science 27(2): 208-222 figs 1-6

Richards, W.J. & Yato, T. 2012. The tropical species of the subgenus Pterygotrigla (Pisces: Triglidae: Pterygotrigla) with description of a new species. Zootaxa 3484: 53-64

Richardson, W.J. & Yato, T. 2014. Revision of the subgenus Parapterygotrigla (Pisces, Triglidae, Pterygotrigla). Zootaxa 3768(1): 23-42

Washington, B.B., Eschmeyer, W.N. & Howe, K.M. 1984. Scorpaeniformes: relationships. pp. 438-447 figs 240-241 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760


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)
06-May-2015 SCORPAENIFORMES 18-Apr-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)