With reference to the 'bastard' in the common name, Whitley wrote, "These endearing terms are given to distinguish them from the so-called Real Trumpeter (Latris lineata), another fine fish, which grows to 4 ft. and 60 lb., also to suggest that the two may hybridize and also because fishermen think the immature ones are sterile." Another fish in the family Latridae, Mendosoma lineatum is called the Real Bastard Trumpeter.
The Bastard Trumpeter can be recognised by its silver-grey colouration with short, irregular brown or greenish-brown lines on the upper sides. Adult fishes have a dark caudal fin margin.
The Family Latridae contains three genera, Latridopsis, Latris and Mendosoma. All three are found in Australia's cooler southern waters.
The Bastard Trumpeter lives in coastal waters down to depts of around 60 m. It is most often observed swimming over sand near rocky reefs.
The species occurs in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it is known from the central coast of New South Wales, around the south-east of the continent, including Tasmania, to eastern South Australia.
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.
Other behaviours and adaptations
It is a schooling fish that can be seen in small numbers or occasionally in schools of thousands.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H. in Gomon, M.F., C.J.M. Glover & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Whitley, G.P. 1962. Marine Fishes of Australia. Vol. 2 The Jacaranda Press, Brisbane. Pp. 286.