Tasselled Leatherjacket, Chaetodermis penicilligera Click to enlarge image
A Tasselled Leatherjacket caught by K. Graham on the FRV Kapala. Image: Ken Graham
© Ken Graham

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    penicilligera
    Genus
    Chaetodermis
    Family
    Monacanthidae
    Order
    Tetraodontiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 21 cm in length.

Introduction

The Tasselled Leatherjacket has a deep, compressed body with a variable cover of dermal flaps. The species occurs in coastal marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

Identification

The Tasselled Leatherjacket can be recognised by its deep, compressed body which has a variable cover of dermal flaps. It has a large caudal fin and like most other leatherjackets, it has a strong first dorsal fin spine.

The fish is usually brown with a series of black lines on the head and body. There may be bright blue spots and dashes on the body, some of which border the black lines. Two black blotches may be present on the side of the body, the anteriormost is positioned above the pectoral fin base.



Habitat

It is sometimes seen by divers in weedy habitats, but is also taken occasionally in trawls at depths of over 50 m.

Distribution

The Tasselled Leatherjacket occurs in coastal marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country, and south to the New South Wales central coast.

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. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Monacanthidae 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 6. Bony Fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes and marine mammals. FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-v, 3381-4218.
  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. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press. Pp. 437.