Morwong (Banded)

Banded Morwong

Scientific name

Cheilodactylus spectabilis


The reddish-silver body displays approximately 8 thick bands, which vary in colour from reddish-brown to almost black in juveniles. Banded Morwong feed on reef-dwelling shellfish and crustaceans, however, they are caught by spearfishers more often than by line fishers. They are a highly regarded tablefish.


They are the largest of the Morwongs, reaching a maximum length of approximately 70 cm and 15 kg in weight.


Banded Morwong inhabit exposed rocky headlands and coastal reefs, from Seal Rocks in NSW, throughout Victorian and Tasmanian waters to Robe in South Australia. They are also found in New Zealand, where they are known as Red Moki.

Confusing species

Banded Morwong are similar in shape and colour to the Red-lipped Morwong. They lack the characteristic brown spots of the Red-lipped Morwong and the distribution of these species does not overlap.