Red morwong

The Red morwong, Goniistius fuscus, is a morwong of the genus Goniistius, found off southeast Australia and the North Island of New Zealand from shallow depths to 164.04 ft (50 m), on rocky reef and coastal areas. Its length is between 11.81 and 23.62 in (30 and 60 cm).

The Red morwong is a fairly large fish similar in general shape and size to the Painted moki, but differs in color pattern and also in the presence of two elongated pectoral fin rays on each side. Red morwong are red-brown on the back and silver beneath with a pattern of white markings on the head and about six narrow white bars on the caudal fin and peduncle. The pectoral fins are red.

While common in Australia these fish are only occasionally encountered off the north east coast of New Zealand. Its thick rubbery lips enable it to suck up sediment containing small invertebrates, which is its method of feeding.

Illustration by Dr Tony Ayling