Uraspis secunda Click to enlarge image
Small (25 cm to 30 cm long) Cottonmouth Trevallies at a depth of 1 m, near a fish attracting device, 8 km north-east of Botany Bay, New South Wales, April 2004. The water depth was 150 m. One fish was caught on hook and line by J. Dipcock of New South Wales Fisheries. It is now registered in the Australian Museum Fish Collection (AMS I.43293-001). Image: H. Folpp
© H. Folpp

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    secunda
    Genus
    Uraspis
    Family
    Carangidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Cottonmouth Trevally grows to 44 cm in length.

Introduction

Fishes of the genus Uraspis can be distinguished by the brilliant white tongue and walls of the mouth.

Identification

Fishes of the genus Uraspis can be distinguished from the other Australian species in the family Carangidae by the brilliant white tongue and inside walls of the mouth.

Two species are known from Australian waters, U.secunda and U.uraspis, the Whitemouth Trevally. They can be separated by the extent of the scaleless area on the breast (extends approximately half way to pectoral fin base vs. all the way to the pectoral fin base) and the shape (and scale count) of the curved part of the lateral line (curved lateral line (48-66 scales) usually shorter than straight portion vs. curved (61-82 scales) usually longer than straight). Juveniles of both species are usually banded.

Distribution

It occurs worldwide in tropical and warm temperate marine waters. In Australia it is known from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the southern coast of 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.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292. (for Uraspis uraspis)
  2. Gunn, J.S. 1990. A Revision of Selected Genera of the Family Carangidae (Pisces) from Australian Waters. Records of the Australian Museum. Supplement 12: 1-77.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180 (for Uraspis uraspis).
  4. Smith-Vaniz, W.F. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.