Butterfly Perch

perch butterfly
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit5


possession limit10


boat limit-

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

butterfish, Moses perch, Peter fish, red perch

Scientific name

Caesioperca lepidoptera

Grows to

Up to


Identifying features

​This small fish is rosy pink in colour with a white underside and their scales are quite rough to touch. They have a prominent dark spot on the flanks and in adults, the fins may develop blue margins. The body is a moderately elongate, compressed shape with pectoral fins of a similar length to the head. Butterfly perch is sometimes confused with barber perch (Caesioperca rasor) which is a similar pink in colour, usually with a narrower body.


Found around Tasmania in depths up to 100 metres around structures including high profile rock reefs, as well as around wharves and jetties with strong current flows. They shelter in caves and crevices at night.

Fishing information

Butterfly perch form large schools and can be caught relatively easily. If you start catching them consider moving location as they give a strong bite with their relatively large mouth which can fool the angler into thinking bigger fish are in the area. More commonly encountered in summer and autumn.


Although these fish are edible and tasty, it is rare to catch them at a size large enough to warrant filleting. Bake whole in foil.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au