Animal Species:Spothead Grubfish, Parapercis clathrata Ogilby, 1910

The Spothead Grubfish is an elongate, cylindrical fish with a pointed snout. It is pale greenish to brown above and lighter below. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Spothead Grubfish inside Mantis Reef

Spothead Grubfish inside Mantis Reef
Photographer: Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Spothead Grubfish

Alternative Name/s

False-eye Grubfish, Latticed Sandperch, Ocellate Weaver, Ogilby's Grubfish


The Spothead Grubfish is an elongate, cylindrical fish with a pointed snout. It is pale greenish to brown above and lighter below. There is a row of elongate spots on the lower side of the body. The caudal fin is white with brown spots on the upper and lower margins. Male Spothead Grubfish have a large ocellus on each side of the nape. Females lack an ocellus.

Size range

The species grows to about 18 cm in length.


The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific, from the Andaman Sea, north to Japan, throughout Micronesia, south to Australia and east to the Samoan Islands. In Australia theSpothead Grubfish is known from the central and north western coasts of Western Australia, and from the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

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

Parapercis clathrata

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Spothead Grubfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


The Spothead Grubfish usually occurs on coral reefs and lagoons. It is commonly seen on sand, rubble or rocky substrates, at depths from 3 m to 50 m.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 362.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 222.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 415.
  6. Randall, J.E. 2001 Family Pinguipedidae (= Parapercidae, Mugiloididae). in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 6. Bony Fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-v, 3381-4218.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Spothead Grubfish, Parapercis clathrata, Pinguipedidae, white, grey, brown, long and skinny, 10 cm - 30 cm, blotches/mottled, coral reef, soft substrate, marine, adult,