Bluetail Leatherjacket Click to enlarge image
A female Bluetail Leatherjacket at a depth of 20m on the Barge wreck, Glenelg , South Australia , January 1999. Image: David Muirhead
© David Muirhead

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    cyanoura
    Genus
    Eubalichthys
    Family
    Monacanthidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 42 cm in length.

Introduction

The Bluetail Leatherjacket is found on rocky reefs in inshore temperate waters. It's quite common in South Western Australia but missed due to it's shy nature.

Identification

The Bluetail Leatherjacket can be recognised by its colouration. Adults are greenish to dark brown with dark spots on the head and body. The snout and region above the anal fin are covered with dark brown lines and spots. The membranes of the first dorsal and caudal fins are blue in males and pale in females. The fin rays are greenish. Females and juveniles have a mosaic pattern of large dark blotches.

The species was described by OzFishNet member, Dr Barry Hutchins of the Western Australian Museum. The species name cyanoura comes from the Greek kyanos(meaning dark blue) and oura (tail) and refers to the blue tail of males.


Bluetail Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys cyanoura
A Bluetail Leatherjacket on the Barge wreck at Glenelg, Victoria, 9 June 2013. Barry Hutchins wrote: "This appears to be a young female as it lacks the distinctive anterior blue band on the integument of the caudal fin and the dark blotches on the body are partially obvious." Image: David Teubner
© David Teubner

Habitat

The species is found on rocky reefs in inshore temperate waters.

Distribution

The Bluetail Leatherjacket is endemic to Australia. It occurs from eastern South Australia to south-western Western Australia.

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. Hutchins, J.B. 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.
  2. Hutchins, J.B. 1987. New Australian Fishes. Part 12. A new species of Eubalichthys(Monacanthidae). Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 48(1): 51-52 fig.