Animal Species:Yellowtail Fusilier, Caesio cuning (Bloch, 1791)

The Yellowtail Fusilier can be recognised by its colouration.  The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. It is usually seen swimming in midwater where it feeds on zooplankton.

Yellowtail Fusilier, Caesio cuning

William White © William White

Standard Common Name

Yellowtail Fusilier

Alternative Name/s

Red-bellied Fusilier, Redbelly Yellowtail Fusilier, Robust Fusilier, Yellow-tail, Yellowtail

Identification

The Yellowtail Fusilier has a greyish-blue body. The soft portion of the dorsal fin is yellow, as is the top of the caudal peduncle and the caudal fin. The bottom third of the body is often white with a pink-reddish tinge. This gives this species its common name.

Size range

The species grows to 60 cm in length.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, from Sri Lanka, throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Vanuatu.

In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south to central 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.

Caesio cuning

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Yellowtail Fusilier specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Yellowtail Fusilier inhabits offshore reef slopes, commonly in large schools. It is found at depths from 1 m to 60 m.

Feeding and Diet

It is usually seen swimming in midwater where it feeds on zooplankton.

Classification

Species:
cuning
Genus:
Caesio
Family:
Lutjanidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  2. Carpenter, K.E., 1987 Revision of the Indo-Pacific fish family Caesionidae (Lutjanoidea), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes (15): 1-56.
  3. Carpenter, K. E. 1988. FAO species catalog. Vol. 8. Fusilier fishes of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of caesionid species known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. No. 125: i-iv + 1-75.
  4. Carpenter, K. E. 2001. Caesionidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-iv, 2791-3379.
  5. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Yellowtail Fusilier, Caesio cuning, Lutjanidae, tropical water, marine, Red-bellied Fusilier, Redbelly Yellowtail Fusilier, Robust Fusilier, Yellow-tail, Yellowtail, greyish-blue, yellow fin, offshore reef, schooling species, 30 cm - 1 m, pale underside,