Australian Sawtail Click to enlarge image
Australian Sawtail, Prionurus microlepidotus An Australian Sawtail at a depth of 10 m, 'The Gap', Sydney, New South Wales, 1 February 2004. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    microlepidotus
    Genus
    Prionurus
    Family
    Acanthuridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 70 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

Identification

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.

Habitat

Adults are found mostly on coastal rocky reefs. Juveniles are usually seen in estuaries and coastal bays.

Distribution

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.



References

  1. 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.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Kuiter, R.H & H. Debelius. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and their relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Acanthuroidei. TMC Publishing. Pp. 208.