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Sweep; Sea

Sweep; Sea

Scorpis aequipinnis

The sea sweep is one of the largest species in the family, reaching a maximum of 60 centimetres.  Their dorsal and anal fins are arranged symmetrically on the body, with a deeply forked caudal fin.  They are silvery-grey in colouration with yellow markings on the lower lip and have two broad dusky bands down the body which may appear indistinct.  Juveniles are very deep-bodied, elongating as they mature.

Small juveniles usually occur in small aggregations inshore, larger adults school in small groups in open waters, often inhabiting shallow turbulent areas on coastal reefs to 25 metres depth.  Sea sweeps range from Shark Bay, WA to Jervis Bay, NSW and around Tasmania.

Other common names include:  Snapjack

Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:

The sea sweep is a common fish species observed on a daily basis at the underwater observatory.  They are often seen swimming through the open water and littoral zones in small schools, often pausing to feed upon the invertebrate and algae adorned jetty piles.  They are easy to distinguish between the banded sweep which has two very dark, almost black, broad bands vertically down the body.  These bands are present on the sea sweep, however they are so feint they are often indistinct.