PORT PHILLIP BAY


King Gar 

Scomberesox saurus (Walbaum, 1792)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 10-12; 6 finlets
Anal fin spines/rays: 12-13; 7 finlets
Caudal fin rays: 16-17
Pectoral fin rays: 12-14
Ventral fin spines/rays: 6
Lateral line: 107-128

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.
Long, silvery, streamlined surface-dwelling fishes. Species within the group have a variety of jaw lengths and shapes, and during development, many species go through a half-beak stage where the lower jaw is elongated. The single dorsal fin and the anal fin are usually far back on the body and the pelvic fins are abdominal. All lack fin spines and the lateral line runs along the lower surface of the body.
Most species are counter-shaded to avoid being seen by predators and prey. They are usually dark greenish to bluish above and silvery white on the sides and belly, sometimes with a dusky or darker stripe along their sides.

Family level detail.
Slender, elongate fishes with long pointed jaws, dorsal and anal fins far back on the body, followed by 5-7 finlets; tail symmetrical, deeply forked, pelvic fins very small, on middle of abdomen; scales tiny, lateral line with scute-like scales positioned low on side.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Beloniformes
Family:
Scomberesocidae
Genus:
Scomberesox
Species:
saurus

General Description

Slender, elongate fishes with a small mouth, long beak-like extensions of upper and lower jaws, lower slightly longer than upper, short-based dorsal and anal fins far back on the body, followed by 5-7 finlets and a deeply forked symmetrical tail. Dark blue to brownish above, silvery white below, with broad silver lateral stripe, a dark blue or green spot at pectoral-fin base and blue tail and dorsal finlets. To 45 cm.

Biology

This species forms schools in the open ocean and is preyed upon by many marine animals.

Habitat

Warmer temperate waters, occasionally enters bays and estuaries.

Open water

Distribution guide

Worldwide. Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Garfishes, halfbeaks and longtoms

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

45 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in 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, King Gar, Scomberesox saurus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6289

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