Name source
Australian Faunal Directory
Data links

Life Science Identifier (LSID):

LSIDs are persistent, location-independent,resource identifiers for uniquely naming biologically significant resources including species names, concepts, occurrences, genes or proteins, or data objects that encode information about them. To put it simply, LSIDs are a way to identify and locate pieces of biological information on the web.

Data Links


For a JSON view of this data, click here


To use WMS services, copy and paste the following GetCapabilities URL into your OGC client (e.g. uDIG, ESRI ArcGIS) armatus
For higher taxa, this will give you a hierarchical listing of layers for each taxon.


To download an RDF/XML document for the concepts and names click here
A JSON view of this information is here here
A html view of this information is here here

Further details

For more details on occurrence webservices, click here
For more details on names webservices, click here

Species presence
 Recorded In Australia

Occurrence records map

occurrence map map legend

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  • representative image of taxa
    Source: Australian National Fish Collection Images
    Image by: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO
    Rights: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. Image enhanced during FRDC project


The Old Wife is easily recognised by its distinctive shape and colouration. It has a deep body, and two separate dorsal fins, the second being sickle-like. source: Australian Museum Factsheets

The Old Wife is a fish found around coastal reefs. It has a deep body, and two separate sickle shaped dorsal fins. The body is silver-white to brown with six to eight black bands. Juveniles have a blotched colour pattern and a white-rimmed spot on the dorsal fin. The Old Wife gets its name from the sound it makes by grinding its teeth after it is caught.... source: OZ Animals

Online resources

Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness - Sightings
Images, Occurrence record
Australian Museum Factsheets
Description, Distribution, Morphology, Habitat, Images, Occurrence record
Australian National Fish Collection Images
Authoritative image, Images, Occurrence record
Encyclopedia of Life
Description, Video Page Url, Images
Marine Life Society of South Australia
Images, Occurrence record
OZ Animals
Description, Distribution, Morphology, Habitat, Diet, Images, Occurrence record
Port Phillip Marine Life
Images, Occurrence record
Queensland Museum provider for OZCAM
Images, Occurrence record
Reef Life Survey Images
Images, Occurrence record
Seafood Services Australia
CAAB Code, Author
Reference, Images, Occurrence record

Species Lists

RLS profile v3
Abundance: 9.322
Behaviour: The old wife occurs in pairs or as large solitary individuals on coastal reefs, but more often is seen in large schools in sheltered habitats such as over seagrass beds or beside jetty pylons
Commercial_Uses: None, other than trivial captures for aquarium trade
Common_Name: Old wife;
Depth: 0–100 m
Description: The old wife occurs in pairs or as large solitary individuals on coastal reefs, but more often is seen in large schools in sheltered habitats such as over seagrass beds or beside jetty pylons
Diet: Carnivore
Distribution: Kalbarri, WA, to Noosa, Qld, and northern Tas.
Frequency: 21.226
Habitat: Sheltered and moderately exposed reef, seagrass
IUCN_Threat_status: Not assessed
Invasive: Not known to be invasive
Max_size: 310 mm
Range: 1221.063
Threats: No major threats to this species are known
South Australian Fish from the AFD
Museums Field Guide apps species profiles – vertebrates
Brief description: Body deep, very compressed, fins large, tall and 'spikey'; silvery-white to brownish with prominent dark bands.
Description : Body deep, compressed, with a short pointed snout, two tall separate dorsal fins, the second with elongate rays, anal and pelvic fins prominent. Silvery-white to brownish with prominent broad and narrow dark bands, leading edges of dorsal, anal and pelvic fins white. Usually 20 cm long head to tail tip (up to 25 cm).
Biology : Although superficially resembling tropical butterflyfishes, the Old Wife is easily recognised by its tall 'spikey' fins, pointed snout, and black and white banded pattern. It is common and abundant in rocky estuaries and on coastal reefs in southern Australia, often forming large midwater schools under jetties and piers. Small juveniles shelter in seagrass beds in protected bays and estuaries. The Old Wife should be handled with care as the fin spines are reportedly venomous.
Habitat: Widely distributed in rocky and grassy areas and around piers in shallow coastal waters.
Native status: Native to Australia
Diet: Carnivore
Dangerous: Venomous spines.
Distribution: Southern Australia.
Habitat types: Marine
Depth: Deep (>30m)
Water column: On or near seafloor
Commercial species: False
Author credit: Dianne J. Bray, Dr Martin F. Gomon / Museum Victoria

Names and sources

Accepted name Source
Enoplosus armatus

Common Names

Common name Source
Old Wife
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Bastard Dory
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Double Scalare
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Long-spined Chaetodon
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Zebra Fish
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Bastard Dory, Zebra-tail, Zebra Fish
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Working classification

Enoplosus armatus  Recorded in Australia

Occurrence records

View list of all occurrence records for this taxon

Charts showing breakdown of occurrence records

Hint: click on chart elements to view that subset of records

Name references found in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Name references found in the TROVE - NLA


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