Animal Species:King Gar, Scomberesox saurus (Walbaum, 1792)
The King Gar occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide.The species is dark blue, greenish or brown above and silvery white below.
King Gar, trawled during the NORFANZ expedition
Photographer: Kerryn Parkinson © NORFANZ Founding Parties
Standard Common Name
Billfish, Saurie, Saury, Skipper
The King Gar has a very elongate, compressed body. The toothless upper and lower jaws are greatly elongated. There is a single short-based dorsal fin positioned posteriorly on the body. This is followed by five or six detached finlets. The species is dark blue, greenish or brown above and silvery white below. There is a broad silver stripe along the sides of the body. The finlets and caudal fin are blue. There is a dark blue or green spot on the pectoral fin bases.
The species grows to 45 cm in length.
The King Gar is a pelagic species that occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide. In Australia it is known from the central coast of New South Wales, around the south of the country, and north to south-western Western Australia.
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
Predators, Parasites and Diseases
The species is preyed upon by Marlin and other large oceanic predators.
- Gomon, M.F. 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.
- 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.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, King Gar, Scomberesox saurus, Scomberesocidae, Billfish, Saurie, Saury, Skipper, temperate water, marine, dark blue, green above, brown above, silver underside, elongate, compressed body, silver stripe, 30 cm - 1 m, pelagic,