Unicorn Leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros (Linnaeus 1758)


Other Names: Smooth Leatherjacket, Unicorn Filefish, Unicorn File-fish, Unicorn Leather Jacket, Unicorn Leather-jacket, Unicornfilefish, Yellow-finned Leatherjacket

A Unicorn Leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros, at Fairy Bower, Manly, NSW. Source: Richard Ling. License: CC-BY-Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:
A large pale grey leatherjacket with faint spotting in adults, a long slender dorsal-fin spine, and a reticulate pattern of pale lines and greyish blotches in juveniles. While the Unicorn Leatherjacket occurs on outer reefs, individuals often shelter around floating debris and jellyfishes far out to sea.
Video of a Unicorn Leatherjacket at Osezaki, on the Izu Peninsula, Japan, depth 36m.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Aluterus monoceros in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/792

Unicorn Leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Distribution

Garden Island, south Western Australia, around the tropical north to southern New South Wales; also Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is circumglobal in tropical and subtropical seas. 
Usually inhabits outer reefs, occasionally found shallower near steep drop-offs or on deep reef sandflats. Juveniles are pelagic, and often shelter beneath floating objects such as logs, debris and jellyfishes.

Features

Dorsal fin II, 45-52; Anal fin 47-53.
Body highly compressed, elongate; snout convex in adults; eyes positioned far back on head above pectoral-fin base; first dorsal-fin spine slender (second spine buried in skin); rudimentary pelvic spine disappears in large specimens.

Fisheries

Taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries in parts of its range.

Species Citation

Balistes monoceros Linnaeus 1758, Systema Naturae 1 Ed 10: 327. Type locality: near Hong Kong and the West Indies.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2018

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Unicorn Leatherjacket, Aluterus monoceros (Linnaeus 1758)

References


Allan, R. 2002. Australian Fish and How to Catch Them. Sydney : New Holland Publishers (Australia) 394 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Cloquet, H. 1816. Poissons. In, Levrault, F.G. (ed.) Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles. Strasbourg Vol. 1 suppl. 138 pp.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Gmelin, J.F. 1789. Amphibia, Pisces. In Linnaeus, C. Systema Naturae in quo naturae regna tria, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, systematice proponuntur. 13th edn Vol. 1(3). 1033-1516 pp. (as Balistes kleinii)

Hollard, H.L. 1855. Monographie de la famille des balistides. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Paris 4 4: 5-27 fig. (as Aluterus anginosus)

Hutchins, J.B. 1977. Descriptions of three new genera and eight new species of monacanthid fishes from Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 5(1): 3-58 figs 1-13 (as Alutera monoceros)

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Monacanthidae. pp. 3929-3947 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

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

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Matsuura, K., Motomura, H., Tyler, J. & Robertson, R. 2015. Aluterus monoceros (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16404943A115353437. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T16404943A16509717.en. Downloaded on 24 August 2018.

Parenti, P. 2002. On the species of the genus Balistes described by Johann Julius Walbaum (1792). Cybium 26(4): 309-316

Pepperell, J. 2010. Fishes of the Open Ocean a Natural History & Illustrated Guide. Sydney : University of New South Wales Press Ltd 266 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Stewart, A.L. & Roberts, C.D. 2015. 246 Family Monacanthidae, pp. 1716-1723 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37465022

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-120 m

Habitat:Reef associated & pelagic

Max Size:75 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map