Animal Species:Australian Bonito, Sarda australis (Macleay, 1881)

The Australian Bonito is a fast swimming, schooling species that is occurs on coastal reefs and estuaries.

Australian Bonito caught at Cabbage Tree Island

David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Australian Bonito

Alternative Name/s

The Australian Bonito has also been called the Bunny, Common Bonito, Horse Mackerel, Little Bonito, Skipjack, and Striped Bonito.

Identification

The Australian Bonito has a fusiform body and a forked caudal fin. There are three keels on the caudal peduncle and two dorsal fins separated by a small gap. There are dark stripes on the upper and lower sides of the body.

Size range

It grows to about 1 m in length.

Distribution

The Australian Bonito occurs in temperate marine waters of Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia it is known from southern Queensland to southern Victoria and eastern Tasmania.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Sarda australis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Australian Bonito specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species occurs on coastal reefs and estuaries.

Feeding and Diet

It feeds on smaller fishes.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is usually seen swimming in schools.

Classification

Species:
australis
Genus:
Sarda
Family:
Scombridae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Collette, B.B. & C.E. Nauen. 1983. FAO species catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. No. 125: i-vii + 1-137.
  2. Gomon, M.F. & E.M. Robertson. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Australian Bonito, Sarda australis, Scombridae, blue, black, silver, 'normal fish', > 1 m, countershaded, coastal reef, marine, adult,