PORT PHILLIP BAY


Slender Longtom 

Strongylura leiura (Bleeker, 1851)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 17-21
Anal fin spines/rays: 23-25
Caudal fin rays: 15
Pectoral fin rays: 10-11
Ventral fin spines/rays: 6
Lateral line: 185-200

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 cylindrical fishes with very long jaws armed with small needle-sharp teeth; dorsal and anal fins short-based, far back on body; pelvic fins abdominal; tail forked. Some of the larger oceanic species are potentially dangerous to humans, and have impaled anglers after leaping from the water towards bright lights.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Beloniformes
Family:
Belonidae
Genus:
Strongylura
Species:
leiura

General Description

Slender cylindrical fishes with very long jaws armed with small needle-sharp teeth; dorsal and anal fins short-based, far back on body; pelvic fins abdominal; tail forked. Greenish above, white below, with a broad silvery stripe along the sides; pectoral fin yellow with dark spot near tip; tips of dorsal and anal fins and lower lobe of caudal fin yellow. To 73 cm.

Biology

Longtoms are voracious predators on small fishes. They are taken by recreational anglers.

Habitat

Surface waters in bays and estuaries and along the coast, in depths of 1-10 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Indo-West Pacific and Australia. Rarely seen in Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Garfishes, halfbeaks and longtoms

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Max Size

73 cm

Harmful

Long, pointed snout with sharp teeth can cause injury.

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, Slender Longtom, Strongylura leiura, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 16 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6290

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