Animal Species:Pennantfish, Alectis ciliaris (Bloch, 1787)

Juvenile Pennantfish have beautiful trailing filaments from the dorsal and anal fins. Individuals are sometimes seen swimming next to wharves and docks around the Sydney region.

Pennantfish, Alectis ciliaris

Rachel Mason © Rachel Mason

Standard Common Name

Pennantfish

Identification

Juvenile Pennantfish have very elongate trailing filaments from the dorsal and anal fins. These are not present in adults.

Two species of Alectis are known from Australian waters. The Juvenile Diamond Trevally, Alectis indica, can be distinguished from the Pennantfish by the presence of filaments on the pelvic fins. The Adult Pennantfish has a more rounded upper head profile than the angular head of the Diamond Trevally.

Size range

The species grows to about 1.3 m in length.

Distribution

The Pennantfish occurs circumglobally in tropical and some temperate waters

In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country to the southern coast of New South Wales.

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

Alectis ciliaris

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Pennantfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is a pelagic species that lives in inshore and continental shelf waters from the surface to about 100 m.

Classification

Species:
ciliaris
Genus:
Alectis
Family:
Carangidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  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. Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J., & G.G. Leyland. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of northern and north-western Australia. An illustrated Guide. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research. Pp. 375.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Pennantfish, Alectis ciliaris, Carangidae, trailing filaments, > 1m, tropical water, temperate water, marine, pelagic, inshore water, continental shelf, stripes or bands,

2 comments

Mark McGrouther - 8.04 AM, 05 April 2011

Hi Pacific Jules.  Thank you very much for your comment.  I hear of sightings of this lovely fish a few times a year.  Like 'yours', they are often seen in pairs.  I'm really pleased that you took the time to document their occurence at Shelly Beach.  Feel free to add sighting details for any of the fishes that you and the Bold & Beautiful group happen to see in your morning swims.

Pacific Jules - 6.04 PM, 04 April 2011
Two of these beautiful Juvenile Pennantfish were seen just off Manly's Shelly Beach this morning at about 7.15am, 4th April 2011.

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