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Sergeant Baker

 
Introduction:
Long tapering body, large head and blotchy bright red colouration.
Identification:
Recognised by its long tapering body, large head and blotchy bright red colouration. Adult males and females are easy to tell apart. Several of the anterior rays of the first dorsal fin are greatly elongated in males, nearly reaching the adipose fin. Body size up to 68 cm.
Max. Size: 
68 cm.
Distribution:
Southern Australia
Habitat:
Bays and coastal reefs down to depths of 250 m.
Biology:
Commonly observed by divers as it perches on the substrate with its head raised.  It is thought to be named after Governor Phillip's orderly sergeant, William Baker. Sergeant Baker came to Australia as a Corporal of Marines on the transport ship Charlotte. He was reported to have been a keen fisherman, and possibly the first white settler to have caught this species. An ambush predator that feeds on molluscs, fishes and crustaceans.
Other Common Names:
Family: Aulopidae
Genus: Latropiscis
Species: purpurissatus