Animal Species:King Gar, Scomberesox saurus (Walbaum, 1792)

The King Gar occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide.The species is dark blue, greenish or brown above and silvery white below.

King Gar, trawled during the NORFANZ expedition

Kerryn Parkinson © NORFANZ Founding Parties

Standard Common Name

King Gar

Alternative Name/s

Billfish, Saurie, Saury, Skipper

Identification

The King Gar has a very elongate, compressed body. The toothless upper and lower jaws are greatly elongated. There is a single short-based dorsal fin positioned posteriorly on the body. This is followed by five or six detached finlets. The species is dark blue, greenish or brown above and silvery white below. There is a broad silver stripe along the sides of the body. The finlets and caudal fin are blue. There is a dark blue or green spot on the pectoral fin bases.

Size range

The species grows to 45 cm in length.

Distribution

The King Gar is a pelagic species that occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide. In Australia it is known from the central coast of New South Wales, around the south of the country, and north to south-western Western Australia.

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

Scomberesox saurus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of King Gar specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Predators, Parasites and Diseases

The species is preyed upon by Marlin and other large oceanic predators.

Classification

Species:
saurus
Genus:
Scomberesox
Family:
Scomberesocidae
Order:
Beloniformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. 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.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, King Gar, Scomberesox saurus, Scomberesocidae, Billfish, Saurie, Saury, Skipper, temperate water, marine, dark blue, green above, brown above, silver underside, elongate, compressed body, silver stripe, 30 cm - 1 m, pelagic,