Animal Species:Tailor, Pomatomus saltatrix (Linneaus, 1766)
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.
Standard Common Name
Bluefish, Chopper, Elf, Marine Piranha, Skipjack
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.
The species grows to 1.2 m in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The Tailor occurs in oceanic waters as well as estuaries and inshore waters.
Feeding and Diet
It is a schooling fish that preys on smaller fishes such as mullet and herring.
Mating and reproduction
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".
- 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.
- Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
- 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.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Tailor, Pomatomus saltatrix, Pomatomidae, green, blue, silver underside, Bluefish, Chopper, Elf, Marine Piranha, Skipjack, elongate, compressed body, ctenoid scales, large mouth, sharp teeth, 30 cm - 1 m, tropical water, temperate water, marine, estuaries, inshore water,