Microcanthus strigatus

The stripey is a coastal reef fish species closely related to the butterfly fishes and the drummers, and is a member of the sweep family.  They are deep-bodied fishes, variable in colour from white to yellow with evenly spaced thick black stripes.  They have close set, brush-like teeth.  Both juveniles and adults are opportunistic feeders, consuming both benthic and planktivorous prey, including a variety of small invertebrates and algae.  The stripey grow to a maximum length of 16 centimetres.

Stripey’s occur in small aggregations in shallow protected reefs (from 2 to 15 metres depth) and rocky estuaries, with juveniles often occurring in rockpools.  They are often found living around the same reef or rock formation for long periods.  Two separate populations of stripey occur in Australia.  The eastern Australian population occur from Merimbula, NSW to southern Queensland and the western Australian population occur from the Exmouth Gulf to Cape Leeuwin.

Other common names include:  Footballer.


Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:

Despite being common in surrounding waters of Geographe Bay, the stripey are a rare visitor to the underwater observatory, and are observed on an occasional basis.