Gymnapistes marmoratus

Gymnapistes marmoratus
Gymnapistes marmoratus, Hobart, TAS, Photo: Graham Edgar

Similar Species


Temperate Australasia


Mottled black and white pattern which, from a distance, can be mistaken for that of a fortescue; however, the two species are easily separated because the soldierfish has smooth skin with no scales. They pose a hazard to barefoot bathers because of the venomous spines. In late winter and early spring adult soldierfish leave these shallow seagrass beds to congregate in deeper water in huge concentrations, presumably for spawning. The species is quite slow growing and large soldierfish are considerably older (more than 10 years) than most other species at the same size.


Max Size: 23 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.2-23.2°C

Depth: 0-26m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (1.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney