Southern hulafish

Southern hulafish
Image: Peter Southwood
Community type

Reef fish

Habitat type

Rocky reefs, kelp beds and inter-tidal zone

Probably the most abundant fish on Tasmania’s sheltered and moderately exposed reefs, the southern hulafish is found to depths of 35 m. In a 2010 survey of Derwent rocky reefs it was the most abundant and widespread species, with more than 12000 sightings! Distinguishable from other hulafish by a large black blotch at the base of their tail, they grow to only 10 cm. Their name comes from the way they flicker their soft tails while hanging in the water, like the skirt of a hula dancer. They are often found in schools, gathering in caves and sheltered places, from which they dart out to grab floating food.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.