Sarda australis Click to enlarge image
An Australian Bonito caught on hook and line by G. Atkinson at Cabbage Tree Island, east of Port Stephens, New South Wales, May 2004. Note that the stripes on the lower side have faded. Image: David & Leanne Atkinson
© David & Leanne Atkinson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    australis
    Genus
    Sarda
    Family
    Scombridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to about 1 m in length.

Introduction

The Australian Bonito is a fast swimming, schooling species that is occurs on coastal reefs and estuaries.

Identification

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.

Habitat

The species occurs on coastal reefs and estuaries.

Distribution

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.



Feeding and diet

It feeds on smaller fishes.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The species is usually seen swimming in schools.

References

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.