Gracile Saury, Saurida gracilis Click to enlarge image
A Gracile Saury at a depth of 15m, Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, November 1998. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    gracilis
    Genus
    Saurida
    Family
    Synodontidae
    Order
    Aulopiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 28 cm in length.

Introduction

The Gracile Saury is pale with red and brown mottling above and whitish below. It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

Identification

The Gracile Saury is an elongate fish with a short based dorsal fin and a dorsal adipose fin. It has a large mouth with sharp slender teeth that are exposed when the mouth is closed. The species is pale with red and brown mottling above and whitish below. There is a row of dark blotches on the lower sides and three black blotches on the upper sides towards the rear of the body.

Habitat

The species is usually seen on sandy seabeds near coral reefs at depths from 1 m to 12 m.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known from north-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south to the southern coast of Queensland.

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.
  2. 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.
  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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Michael, S.W. 1998. Reef Fishes. Volume 1. A Guide to Their Identification, Behaviour, and Captive Care. Microcosm. Pp. 624.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
  7. Russell, B.C. 1999. Synodontidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.