Tarakihi is the Maori name for an important food fish, Cheilodactylus macropterus. It is about the size of the snapper, but rather more slender, and can easily be distinguished by the extreme length of one of the rays of the pectoral fins and a black band above and behind the head; otherwise the colouring is mostly silvery. It is good eating, much used as a smoked product, and represents a large proportion of the marketed fish throughout New Zealand. It occurs on all kinds of ground from shallow to moderately deep water. The porae (Cheilodactylus douglasi) is a similar fish found in northern waters; it differs chiefly in lacking the black head band.
by Arthur William Baden Powell, Assistant Director, Auckland Institute and Museum.