Bullseye Wriggler

Xenisthmus Polyzonatus
Bullseye Wriggler - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Xenisthmus Polyzonatus
Other names Barred Wriggler
Size Up to 3.1 cm (1.22 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons & inshore reefs amongst sandy & rubble areas near reef edges
Depth Range 2 - 50 m (164 ft)
Bullseye Wriggler Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Bullseye Wriggler fish are found mainly in the waters around Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait, in Far North Queensland.
  • They have a distinctive appearance, with a round, compact body shape and a light brown or grey coloration with black spots. They have large eyes positioned towards the top of their head, which allows them to see their prey easily.
  • They are known to be solitary fish, but can occasionally be found in pairs or small groups.
  • The Bullseye Wriggler fish is a carnivorous species, feeding on small crustaceans and other small marine animals.
  • Bullseye Wrigglers are known to be nocturnal, and are active during the night when they search for food.
  • They have a unique spawning behaviour, where the males carry the eggs in their mouths until they hatch.
  • They have a relatively short lifespan, living for an average of 2 to 3 years
Species Interaction

Snorkeling & Diving

The Bullseye Wriggler fish, can be difficult to spot while snorkeling or diving, as they have a small size and a well-camouflaged appearance that blends in with their surroundings. They are known to be nocturnal, so they may be more active and visible during night dives or snorkeling sessions.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Xenisthmidae

Genus: Xenisthmus

Species: Xenisthmus polyzonatus

Conservation Status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of the Bullseye Wriggler fish, is currently categorised as “Least Concern”. This means that the species is not currently at risk of extinction, but its population and habitat should continue to be monitored to ensure that they remain stable.

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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