Spangled Perch

Leiopotherapon unicolor
Spangled Perch - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Leiopotherapon unicolor
Other names Bobby Cod, Bobby Perch, Jewel Perch, Spangled Grunter, Trout Cod
Size Up to 31 cm (12.2 in)
Weight Under .60 kg (1.32 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Most freshwater habitats including rivers, streams, ponds, dams, drainages, reservoirs & lakes
Depth Range 0 - 6m (20 ft)
Spangled Perch Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Spangled Perch is a freshwater fish that is native to the eastern coast of Australia, from the Burnett River in Queensland to the Hunter River in New South Wales.
  • The fish gets its name from the spangled pattern of blue-green spots that cover its body and fins.
  • Spangled Perch are omnivorous and feed on a variety of small aquatic animals, including insects, crustaceans, and small fish.
  • These fish are known to be adaptable to different environments, with some populations surviving in brackish water and even in urbanised areas.
  • The female Spangled Perch lays her eggs on submerged vegetation or other underwater structures, and the male fertilizes them before guarding them until they hatch.
  • Estimates of lifespan are up to 5 years in the wild.
  • Spangled Perch are important for ecosystem health as they play a crucial role in controlling the populations of small aquatic animals and serve as a food source for larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Spangled perch are a popular fish species among recreational and commercial fishers in Australia. Recreational anglers commonly catch spangled perch using bait fishing, lure fishing, and fly fishing techniques. They are often released back into the water due to their small size, but some anglers keep them for food. Spangled perch are also commercially important, with gill nets, traps, and hand lines used to catch them in Queensland and New South Wales. However, overfishing and habitat degradation have led to a decline in the species’ commercial harvest, and they are now protected in some areas with restrictions on the size and number of fish that can be caught.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Terapontidae

Genus: Leiopotherapon

Species: Leiopotherapon unicolor

Conservation Status

The conservation status of spangled perch in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, their commercial harvest has declined in recent years due to overfishing and habitat degradation, leading to restrictions on the size and number of fish caught in some areas. Spangled perch are also protected in certain regions under state or territory legislation, such as New South Wales, where they are listed as protected under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

Fish Taste Quality

Spangled perch are a edible fish but not a highly targeted species for consumption due to small size and large amount of small bones.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Spangled Perch

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig, Artificial Rig

Bait: Lures, Prawns, Worms, Insects

Technique: Slowly sink bait towards bottom, Cast lures with a slow retrieve

Popularity: Popular