Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    longipinnis
    Genus
    Cantheschenia
    Family
    Monacanthidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Smoothspine Leatherjacket grows to 23 cm in length.

Introduction

The Smoothspine Leatherjacket has a moderately deep, compressed body. It has a small mouth and a short gill slit positioned mostly above the level of the pectoral fin. There are two dorsal fins. The first has a large spine (smooth or with minute barbs) followed by a much smaller spine.

Identification

The Smoothspine Leatherjacket has a moderately deep, compressed body. It has a small mouth and a short gill slit positioned mostly above the level of the pectoral fin.

There are two dorsal fins. The first has a large spine (smooth or with minute barbs) followed by a much smaller spine (view "Why are they called triggerfishes?"). The second dorsal fin has 34 to 36 rays.

The species is brown, sometimes with darker spots and bars on the body. The caudal fin has numerous thin lines or two broad bars.

Habitat

It usually lives near the bottom in offshore waters, where it has been trawled in depths from 50 m to 135 m. It is not commonly seen in shallow water.

Distribution

The Smoothspine Leatherjacket is endemic to Australia. It occurs in temperate marine waters from northern to central New South Wales and the Great Australian Bight off South Australia to the central coast of Western Australia. It is also found at Norfolk Island and 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.

Cantheschenia longipinnis

Ozcam map of Smoothspine Leatherjacket specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Cantheschenia%20longipinnis&zoom=off#mapView

References

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.