As its common name suggests, the Red Little Gurnard Perch is a small species of scorpionfish that unlike other species of Maxillicosta, has a red body.
Fresh Red Little Gurnard Perch specimens have reddish bodies with yellowish pectoral and pelvic fins. Other members of the genus Maxillicosta, have whitish bodies with brownish or blackish blotches and whitish pectoral and pelvic fins.
M. raoulensis can also be distinguished from other Australian species of Maxillicosta by having 25-27pectoral fin rays (versus 20-23) and 14-17 gill rakers (versus 10-13).
The Red Little Gurnard Perch is common in New Zealand, especially the Kermadec Islands. Four specimens were recently recorded from Australian waters (off New South Wales and the Lord Howe Rise). The Red Little Gurnard Perch is probably widely distributed on the oceanic ridges of the south-western Pacific Ocean.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
- Eschmeyer, W.N. and S.G. Poss. 1976. Review of the scorpionfish genus Maxillicosta (Pisces: Scorpaenidae), with a description of three new species from the Australian-New Zealand region. Bulletin of Marine Science. 26(4): 433-449.
- Motomura, H., Last, P.R. & W.T. White. 2005. First records of a scorpionfish, Maxillicosta raoulensis (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae), from the Tasman Sea, with fresh colour notes for the species. Biogeography, 7: 85-90.