Eastern Sea Garfish, Hyporhamphus australis (Steindachner 1866)

Other Names: Ballyhoo, Beakie, Eastern Garfish, Gardie, Pencil Gar, Sea Gar, Sea Garfish

Eastern Sea Garfish, Hyporhamphus australis, at Shelly Beach, Manly, New South Wales. Source: John Sear / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A common garfish on the east coast from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Hyporhamphus australis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Aug 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4490

Eastern Sea Garfish, Hyporhamphus australis (Steindachner 1866)

More Info


Moreton Bay, Queensland, to Eden, New South Wales, also Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, Tasman Sea.
During the day, Eastern Sea Garfish may form schools over seagrass beds, while at night they usually school near the surface.


Dorsal fin 15-17 (usually 16); Anal fin 17-20 (usually 18); Pectoral fin II-13 (rarely 13); Vertebrae (37-39) + (18-20) = 56-58; Gill-rakers 9-12 + 22-28 = 31-39 (usually 34-37); Gill rakers (second arch) 4-7 + 19-27 = 23-33, usually 27-31. 
Upper jaw long, pointed, longer than wide at small sizes, shorter than upper jaw width at larger sizes. Lower jaw usually slightly longer than head length. Pelvic fins placed about midway between pectoral and caudal bases. Dorsal-fin base length greater or equal to anal-fin base length.


Omnivore - feeds mainly on seagrasses and algal filaments, also consuming crustaceans.

Species Citation

Hemiramphus australis Steindachner 1866, Sitzungsb. Akad. Wissensch. Wien. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 53(1): 471. Type locality: Port Jackson, NSW.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Eastern Sea Garfish, Hyporhamphus australis (Steindachner 1866)


Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. & Grieve, C. 1993. Australian Fisheries Resources. Canberra : Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 422 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Prokop, F. 2002. Australian Fish Guide. Croydon South, Victoria : Australian Fishing Network 256 pp.

Steindachner, F. 1866. Zur Fischfauna von Port Jackson in Australien. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 53(1): 424-480 figs 1-7

Thomson, J.M. 1959. Some aspects of the ecology of Lake Macquarie, NSW, with regard to an alleged depletion of fish. IX. The fishes and their food. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 10: 365-374.

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37234014

Depth:1-30 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish


Max Size:52 cm TL

Native:Endemic (AUS EEZ)

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