Olisthops cyanomelas

Herring cale | Odax cyanomelas
Olisthops cyanomelas
Olisthops cyanomelas, male, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Olisthops cyanomelas
Olisthops cyanomelas, female, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Olisthops cyanomelas
Olisthops cyanomelas


Temperate Australasia


Long flexible fishes that move with a sinuous motion through kelp beds. Juveniles and females are a mottled greenish brown colour, while males are dark with bright blue stripes along the top and bottom of the tail. This species is feeds on the large brown algae Ecklonia radiata, Phyllospora comosa and Lessonia corrugata, and is very abundant in the surge zone among these plants.


Max Size: 51 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 12.5-23.2°C

Depth: 0-30m

Habitat Generalization Index: 23.99

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: Least Concern

Occurrence: Widespread (60.8% 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: Few (3 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