Animal Species:Barred Javelin, Pomadasys kaakan (Cuvier, 1830)
The Barred Javelin is a silvery fish that is mostly encountered in estuaries. Skulls from this fish are sometimes found washed up on the beach.
Standard Common Name
Spotted Javelin, Barred Grunter
The Barred Javelin has spots and blotches on the dorsal fin and the bands of double spots or blotches on the body. Large individuals may loose the body spots.
It grows to 38 cm in length and 6 kg in length.
In Australia it is recorded in tropical waters from Shark Bay, Western Australia to northern 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.
Distribution by collection data
The Barred Javelin occurs in estuaries and coastal waters. It is usually associated with sandy or muddy seabeds.
Feeding and Diet
The species feeds on prawns, crabs, molluscs and small fishes.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The skull in the images was sent to the Australian Museum for identification by A. Jursevics. It was found on a beach near Townsville, Queensland. Jeff Johnson of the Queensland Museum identified it as the skull of a Barred Javelin.
Fish skulls are comprised of many bones, with a varying degree of fusion between them. Sometimes a skull is found which is missing some bones. The skull in the images is missing the bones in front and below the eye socket, plus the jaws.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Gregory, W.K., 1959. Fish Skulls. A study of the Evolution of Natural Mechanisms. Eric Lundberg, Florida. Pp. 481.
- McKay, R. J. 1984. Classification of the grunters and javelin-fishes of Australia. Australian Fisheries. October 1984. 43(10):37-40.
- Sasaki, K. 1989. Phylogeny of the Family Sciaenidae, with notes on its Zoogeography (Teleostei, Perciformes). Memoirs of the Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University. 36(1/2): 1-137.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Barred Javelin, Pomadasys kaakan, Haemulidae, silver, estuaries, Spotted Javelin, Barred Grunter, dots/spots, blotches/mottled, 30 cm - 1 m, tropical water, coastal water, sandy seabed, muddy seabed, soft substrate, marine,