The Microcanthinae, commonly known as footballers, mados, stripeys and moonlighters, are a subfamily of the sea chub
Sea chub
The sea chubs are a family, Kyphosidae, of fishes in the order Perciformes.-Subfamilies:* Girellinae - nibblers* Kyphosinae* Microcanthinae Johnson, 1984 * Scorpidinae...

s, a family of marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 fish in the order Perciformes
The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

. The Microcanthinae are distributed across a fairly small range in the south west Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and the eastern Pacific, with most species concentrated around Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. They inhabit a variety of continental shelf
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

 environments, from inshore rocky coastlines to deep offshore
A shore or shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In Physical Oceanography a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and present, while the beach is at the edge of the shore,...

In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

s. They commonly exhibit a striped body colouring, and individual species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 may look quite similar. The subfamily was defined by Johnson in 1984 and contains four genera. All of the species are generally too small to be useful as a food fish, but are often used in marine aquaria
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...



The following is an incomplete list of genera and species:
    • Genus Atypichthys
      • Mado
        Mado (fish)
        The mado , or stripy or eastern footballer , Atypichthys latus, is a sea chub of the genus Atypichthys, found around southern Australia and the north eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand to depths of about 60 metres, off headlands and offshore islands...

        , Atypichthys latus McCulloch
        Alan Riverstone McCulloch
        Alan Riverstone McCulloch was a prominent Australian ichthyologist.McCulloch was born in Sydney, and began his scientific career at the age of 13 as an unpaid assistant to Edgar Ravenswood Waite in the Australian Museum there; Waite encouraged McCulloch to study zoology...

         & Waite, 1916
      • Atypichthys strigatus (Günther, 1860)
    • Genus Microcanthus
      • Stripey, Microcanthus strigatus (Cuvier, 1831)
    • Genus Neatypus
      • Western footballer, Neatypus obliquus
        Neatypus obliquus
        Neatypus obliquus, the sole species in genus Neatypus, is a marine fish that is endemic to southern reefs of Australia. It is placed in the Kyphosidae family and informally known as the Western Footballer....

        Waite, 1905
    • Genus Tilodon
      • Moonlighter, Tilodon sexfasciatum (Richardson, 1842)
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