Flathead Perch


Flathead Perch (Rainfordia opercularis)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Reef Safe: Yes


The flathead perchRainfordia opercularis, is a small colorful serranid from the coral reefs of eastern Australia. Due to its limited geographic range and elusive habits, this little bass is extraordinarily rare and expensive in the marine aquarium fish trade. The species has entered the US only a handful of times. opercularis is also relatively rare in museum collections and its DNA is poorly represented in databases. It was first described in 1923, at which time it was placed in its own family, Rainfordiidae.

Distribution Kendrew Island to The Kimberley, Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to at least Moreton Bay, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia.
This secretive species usually shelters in crevices and caves within the reef.
Colour General colour dark orange with six lilac, black-edged stripes along each side; the ground colour is darkest on the middle of the sides, but is lighter yellow on the dorsal and ventral surfaces. Dorsal spines yellowish, the membrane transparent. Second dorsal dark basally, with a broad oblique yellow infra-marginal band from the first to the tip of the seventh ray, and a narrow whitish edge; succeeding rays reddish brown. Anal similar to the dorsal. Pectoral and pelvic fins pinkish yellow. A black, blue-edged ocellus at the base of the caudal. Caudal fin brown; its outer angles with white borders.


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