Harlequin Fish

Othos dentex

Othos dentex - Harlequin Fish
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 85 cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Rocky reef

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

Along with the Blue Devil (Paraplesiops meleagris), the Harlequin Fish is one of the most colourful and striking fish found in South Australian waters. As a member of the family Serranidae, it is large, growing to almost a metre in length. Its colouration is variable, from orange, to red, green and brown, with a scattering of small, irregular blue spots on the top of its body. On the bottom half of its body, it has larger yellow/green spots, beginning just behind the gills, and a large red blotch at the base of its pectoral fins. This fish is distinctive and unlikely to be mistaken for any other species.