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
Photographer: David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson
Standard Common Name
The Australian Bonito has also been called the Bunny, Common Bonito, Horse Mackerel, Little Bonito, Skipjack, and Striped Bonito.
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.
It grows to about 1 m in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology