Barramundi Cod (species: Cromileptes altivelis) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Cromileptes altivelis
Barramundi Cod

©Lyle Vail: A large Cromileptes altivelis (at least 60 cm long) at North Point, Lizard Island.

©Mark Shepherd: Adult Barramundi Cod about 45 cm long at Lizard Island

©Andy Lewis: An adult Barramundi Cod
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Serranidae
Genus Cromileptes
Species Cromileptes altivelis
Status vulnerable



Distinguishing features

A medium to large sized rock cod with an off-white body covered with darker blotches and a speckling of small black dots. There is a concave profile in the forehead above the eyes.


  • Up to 70 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Areas of good coral cover with shelter caves, along reef fronts and in passes.

Can be found in most locations around the island, but not common anywhere.


The Barramundi Cod is a monandric protogynous hermaphrodite, with fish starting life as females and changing to male later if they reach a large size. This species is an ambush predator, lying in wait for small fishes to venture close to its hiding place, before making a rapid attacking rush. It is a long-lived fish and uncommon fish, and susceptible to fishing pressure and therefore rare throughout much of its former Indo-Pacific range. However, this species is now cultured commercially which has taken pressure off wild stocks.

Web resources


  • Bott, N.J. and T.H. Cribb (2009). Prosorhynchine trematodes (Digenea: Bucephalidae) from epinephelines (Perciformes: Serranidae) on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Systematic Parasitology, 72: 57-69. LIRS catalog number 1211.
  • Bott, N.J., T.L. Miller and T.H. Cribb (2013). Bucephalidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) of Plectropomus (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in the tropical Pacific. Parasitology Research, 112: 2561-2584. LIRS catalog number 1717.
  • Burdon-Jones, C. and G.R.W. Denton (1981). Metals in marine organisms from the Great Barrier Reef Province. Part 1. Base line survey,Interim Progress Report, James Cook University, Townsville.. LIRS catalog number 69.
  • View all references