Tailor, Pomatomus saltatrix Click to enlarge image
A school of Tailor schooling at the surface (7 m water depth), Port Kembla, New South Wales, 2005. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    saltatrix
    Genus
    Pomatomus
    Family
    Pomatomidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 1.2 m in length.

Introduction

The Tailor is greenish to bluish above and silvery below. The common name for this fish comes from the Tailor's ability to cut fishing nets with its sharp teeth.


Identification

The Tailor has a moderately elongate, compressed body that is covered with small ctenoid scales. It has large forked caudal fin and small pectoral and ventral fins. The large mouth has sharp teeth. It is greenish to bluish above and silvery below. The iris is yellow. The common name for this fish comes from the Tailor's ability to cut fishing nets with its sharp teeth.

Habitat

The Tailor occurs in oceanic waters as well as estuaries and inshore waters.

Distribution

The species is widely distributed in tropical and warm temperate waters of most oceans. In Australia it is known from southern Queensland, around the temperate south of the country and north 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. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



Feeding and diet

It is a schooling fish that preys on smaller fishes such as mullet and herring.

Breeding behaviours

According to Gomon, et.al, 2008, (see References, below), the Tailor is "seasonally migratory, moving as far as 390 km southward in spring and northward in autumn to spawn".

References

  1. Glover, C.J.M. 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. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
  3. 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.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.