Animal Species:Australian Sawtail, Prionurus microlepidotus Lacépède, 1804
The Australian Surgeonfish can be recognised by its grey to brownish colouration. The species occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Western Pacific.
Standard Common Name
Sawtail, Sawtail Surgeonfish, Sixplate Sawtail
The Australian Surgeonfish can be recognised by its grey to brownish colouration and the row of five to six black scutes on the rear of the body.
The species grows to 70 cm in length.
The species occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Western Pacific. In Australia it is known from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales, plus Lord Howe Island.
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
Adults are found mostly on coastal rocky reefs. Juveniles are usually seen in estuaries and coastal bays.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- Kuiter, R.H & H. Debelius. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and their relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Acanthuroidei. TMC Publishing. Pp. 208.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow