Stars-and-stripes Leatherjacket, Meuschenia venusta Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Stars-and-stripes Leatherjacket on a shallow coastal reef, Tathra, New South Wales, 15 March 2010. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    venusta
    Genus
    Meuschenia
    Family
    Monacanthidae
    Suborder
    Tetraodontoidei
    Order
    Tetraodontiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Stars-and-stripes Leatherjacket grows to 21 cm in length.

Introduction

The Stars-and-stripes Leatherjacket is usually seen in areas of sponge greater than 20m depth. Juveniles are mostly found in kelp beds, often alongside other species of the genus Meuschenia. It was only described as a species relatively recently.

Identification

The Stars-and-stripes Leatherjacket has a compressed body with a moderately shallow caudal peduncle that lacks spines, unlike some other species of leatherjackets. It has a strong first dorsal fin spine above the eye with small spines laterally.

This species is usually brown to white with distinct bands of brown spots. There is sometimes a white stripe on the lower side of the body.

Distribution

This species is endemic to Australia. It is recorded in temperate marine waters from central New South Wales, around the south of Australia, to the central coast of 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. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Hutchins, B. & M. Thompson. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 103.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.