Needleskin Queenfish, Scomberoides tol (Cuvier 1832)

Other Names: Needlescaled Queenfish, Needle-scaled Queenfish, Slender Leatherskin

Needleskin Queenfish, Scomberoides tol. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A bluish-green to bluish-grey queenfish becoming silvery white below, with 5-8 vertically elongate or oval black spots along the side, the first 4-5 intersecting the lateral line, a black outer half on the dorsal fin lobe, and a white anterior lobe on the anal fin. 
The spots along the side are faint or absent in juveniles.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Scomberoides tol in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Aug 2019,

Needleskin Queenfish, Scomberoides tol (Cuvier 1832)

More Info


Northern Australia, from Cape Cuvier, Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island in the Timor Sea, to Brisbane, Queensland, and possibly reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific - from eastern Africa and the Persian Gulf, to Tonga, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia and New Caledonia.
Inhabits estuaries and coastal waters, often forming small schools.


Dorsal fin VI-VII + I, 19-21; Anal fin A II + I, 18-22; Gill rakers 4-7 + 17-20 = 21-26; V 10+16.
Body strongly compressed, oblong and elliptical, dorsal and ventral profiles equally convex; upper jaw extending to posterior edge of pupil in adults; dentary with 2 teeth rows separated by a shallow groove in adults, teeth in both rows almost same size. 
Body covered with slender, needle-like scales; no scutes along lateral line.
Soft rays of posterior dorsal and anal fins consist of semi-detached finlets.


Hind tip of upper jaw not reaching to a vertical through posterior margin of eye in adults


Bluish above, silver or white ventrally, with 5-8 vertically oblong or oval black spots, the first 4-5 intersect the lateral line, dorsal fin lobe black outer half.


Adults mainly consume fishes, while juveniles use specialised rasping teeth to feed on the scales and epidermal tissues of other fishes.


Targeted by commercial and recreational fishers. Throughout its range, this species is taken using drift set nets, gill nets, seines and hook and line, and is mainly marketed fresh; also used as baitfish in some areas.

Species Citation

Chorinemus tol Cuvier, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1832, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 8: 385. Type locality: Malabar Coast, India. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Needleskin Queenfish, Scomberoides tol (Cuvier 1832)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37337044

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-50 m

Fishing:Minor commercial & sports fish

Habitat:Estuaries, coastal waters

Max Size:60 cm TL

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