PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pikehead Hardyhead 

Kestratherina esox (Klunzinger, 1872)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: V-VIII; I, 9-12
Anal fin spines/rays: I, 11-13
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 12-14
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Gill rakers: (lower limb) 19-24
Vertebrae: 44-47

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other mersitics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
Small, slender fishes with a terminal mouth, two separate dorsal fins, medium to large eyes and cycloid scales. Pelvic fins are usually abdominal, and the pectoral fins may be high on the body.

Family level detail.
Hardyheads are small, slender silvery fishes found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal waters including estuaries. Some species live in freshwater. They have two widely separated dorsal fins, pectoral fins high on the body, a forked tail, cycloid scales and a broad silvery stripe along the side.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Atheriniformes
Family:
Atherinidae
Genus:
Kestratherina
Species:
esox

General Description

Body long, slender; snout long, pointed, much longer than eye diameter; mouth highly protrusible, jaw teeth small; anus well behind pelvic-fin tips. Green to greenish brown above, paler brown or green below, midlateral stripe silvery or dark, dark pigment on top of head. To 15 cm.

Biology

This species is the largest hardyhead found in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

Habitat

Shallow bays and lagoons, often near seagrass beds, in depths of 0-5 m.

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Hardyheads

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Midwater

Max Size

15 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Pikehead Hardyhead, Kestratherina esox, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Apr 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6283

Text: creative commons cc by licence