PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket 

Brachaluteres jacksonianus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: I; 24-28
Anal fin spines/rays: 22-27
Caudal fin rays: 12
Pectoral fin rays: 10-12
Vertebrae: 20

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 meristics 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.
The Tetraodontiformes is a very diverse and specialized group of bony fishes that share the loss, reduction or fusion of many bony structures in the head and body. Fins and their supporting elements are reduced or lost, and vertebrae are reduced in number. They have small mouths with modified teeth that may be enlarged or fused into a beak-like structure, or incorporated into the jaw bones. The gill opening is reduced to a small slit near the pectoral-fin base, and most have thick skin, covered in scales that are modified into spines, ossicles or fused bony plates. Some groups are poisonous, and the puffers and porcupinefishes are highly inflatable. Puffers adn their allies are found worldwide in temperate and tropical seas, and a few species enter freshwaters.

Family level detail.
Members of the Family Monacanthidae are small to moderate sized mostly deep-bodied, compressed fishes with oval to circular bodies, tough leathery skin covered in rough spines, a prominent depressible spine over the eye that can locked in an upright position by a tiny second dorsal-fin spine. They also have a small mouth and gill slit, and long-based soft dorsal and anal fins. Pelvic fins are either absent, or reduced to a bony element fused to the rear of the pelvic bone.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Tetraodontiformes
Family:
Monacanthidae
Genus:
Brachaluteres
Species:
jacksonianus

General Description

Distinctive small leatherjacket with an almost circular body; abdomen inflatable; skin covered in velvety spinules; first dorsal fin a single smooth spine that cannot be locked in an erect position; anal fin and second dorsal fin opposite, both with unbranched rays. Colour pattern highly variable, ranging from a pale yellowish-brown to dark green with numerous darker and lighter lines, spots and ocelli, providing excellent camouflage. To 9 cm.

Biology

A common species on coastal reefs.

Habitat

In bays, estuaries and on sheltered coastal reefs, usually around piers and jetties, or in seagrass and macroalgal habitats, to depths of 40 m.

Reefs

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Leatherjackets

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

9 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

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, Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket, Brachaluteres jacksonianus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 28 Aug 2014, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au/species/7744

Text: creative commons cc by licence