Dusky Morwong, Dactylophora nigricans (Richardson, 1850)

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Dusky Morwong, Dactylophora nigricans (Richardson, 1850)

The species has also been called Black Butterfish, Butter Perch, Butterfish, Nunckla, Nunda, Strongfish, and Tillywurti.


Dusky Morwongs can be recognised by their colouration. The species is endemic to Australia.


The Dusky Morwong can be recognised by its colouration. Adults are greyish to brownish grey above and whitish below. Immature fish are silvery with rows of orangish spots on the sides of the body. There are dark spots on the dorsal and caudal fins. Juveniles are deeper bodied. They are silvery with dark bands on the upper sides that extend through the dorsal fin.

Dusky Morwong, Dactylophora nigricans

© Erik Schlögl


The species occurs on inshore rocky reefs. Larvae are usually found in seagrass beds.


The Dusky Morwong is endemic to Australia. It occurs in temperate waters from the central coast of New South Wales to south-western Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.


  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter R.H. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia’s South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.

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