Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)

Other Names: Jack Pike, Longfinned Pike, Long-finned Pike, Long-finned Seapike, Pike, Skipjack Pike, Yellowfin Pike

Long-finned Pike, Dinolestes lewini, at Shelly Beach, Manly, New South Wales, 30 May 2016. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


Slender predatory greyish to yellowish-brown fishes becoming silvery below, with a yellow tail, a narrow pointed head, a large eye, a large mouth with a slightly protruding lower jaw, and a single row of small teeth in both jaws. The small first dorsal fin is widely-separated from the larger second dorsal, the anal fin is long-based, and the lateral line is almost straight and continues far onto the tail.

Longfin Pike are often seen hovering motionless in schools above the bottom, occasionally in their hundreds.

Video of Longfin Pike at Rye Pier, Port Phillip, Victoria.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Dinolestes lewini in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Oct 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4241

Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)

More Info


Endemic to and widespread in southern Australia from about Newcastle (New South Wales) to the Perth region (Western Australia) and around Tasmania. Longfin Pike inhabit coastal waters, including bays and estuaries, near seagrass beds and exposed rocky reefs in depths to 65 m.


To 90 cm, although usually to about 50 cm.


Body greyish to yellowish-brown above, silvery below tail yellow. Individuals in estuaries tend to be more yellowish or brownish than those in offshore waters.


Carnivores - predatory fishes that feed mostly on other fishes and squids.


Early life history and larval development is described by Miskiewicz et al. (1999).


Not commercially fished, although reportedly good eating.


IUCN: Not evaluated

Similar Species

Although unrelated, Longfin Pike superficially resemble barracudas (Family Sphyraenidae), which differ in having short-based dorsal and anal fins.


The species is named lewini after Mr Lewin who illustrated the specimen on which the original description was based.

Species Citation

Esox lewini Griffith & Smith 1834, The class Pisces, arranged by the Baron Cuvier: 465, Pl. 60. Type locality: New Holland [Australia].


Bray, D.J. 2017

Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)


Allen, G.R. & M.F. Gomon. 2008. Family Dinolestidae. Pp. 565-566. In: Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. Reed New Holland, Chatswood, Australia.

Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. 544 pp.

Fraser, T.H. 1971. The fish Dinolestes lewini with comments on its osteology and relationships. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 18(4): 157-163.

Griffith, E. & Smith, C.H. 1834. The class Pisces, arranged by the Baron Cuvier, with supplementary additions, by Edward Griffith, F.R.S., &c. and Lieut.-Col. Charles Hamilton Smith, F.R., L.S.S., &c. &c. In: Cuvier, G: The animal kingdom, arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, member of the Institute of France, &c. &c. &c., with supplementary additions to each order, by Edward Griffith ... and others. (2nd ed.) Whittaker & Co., London. 1-680, Pls. 1-62 + 3.

Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. 180 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. 433 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

May, J.L. & J.G.H. Maxwell. 1986. Trawl fish from temperate waters of Australia. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research, Tasmania. 492 pp.

Miskiewicz, A.G., Neira, F.J. & Tait, S.E. 1999. Development and ecology of larvae of the monotypic Australian fish family Dinolestidae. Australian Journal of Zoology 47(1): 37-45 doi:10.1071/ZO98068. PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327002

Depth:1-65 m

Habitat:Benthopelagic, coastal

Max Size:90 cm TL


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CAAB distribution map