Horseshoe Leatherjacket, Meuschenia hippocrepis (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)


Other Names: Horse Shoe Leatherjacket, Horse-shoe Leatherjacket, Purple People Eater, Variable Leatherjacket

A male Horseshoe Leatherjacket, Meuschenia hippocrepis, at Flinders Island, Bass Strait, Tasmania. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:

A striking and easily recognised leatherjacket with a distinct horseshoe-shaped marking on the midside. Males are much more brightly-coloured than females, and adults also have two pairs of curved spines on each side of the caudal peduncle.

Horseshoe leatherjackets are often seen amongst kelp and other macroalgae in deeper bays and estuaries on southern reefs. Juveniles often seek shelter around jetties and piers, while adults may form large schools on offshore reefs.


Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Meuschenia hippocrepis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/807

Horseshoe Leatherjacket, Meuschenia hippocrepis (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to temperate waters of southern and western Australia, from Wilsons Promontory, Victoria to about Shark Bay, Western Australia, including northern Tasmania.

Horseshoe leatherjackets occur around rocky reefs with kelp and other macroalgae in deeper bays, estuaries and harbours and on offshore reefs along the open coast. Juveniles usually live in shallower waters, and are often seek shelter around jetties and piers; depth range 0-120 m.

Features

Dorsal fin II, 34-37; Anal fin 32-35; Caudal fin 12; Pectoral fin 12-13; Vertebrae 20.

Body elongate, compressed; adults with two pairs of curved spines on each side in front of the tail; two separate dorsal fins, the first a prominent spine with serrations along the rear edges, followed by a tiny second spine, enabling the large spine to be locked erect or depressed into a shallow groove along the back.

Size

To 60 cm

Colour

Greenish above, yellowish below with a distinct black horse-shoe shaped marking behind the pectoral fin, blue lines along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins, and a broad dark vertical bar near the rear of the tail. Males much more brightly coloured than females; juveniles with indistinct markings on sides.

Feeding

Carnivores - feed on a range of benthic invertebrates. They also feed on jellyfishes such as Blue Blubber, Catostylus mosaicus.

Biology

The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. The eggs and larvae are pelagic.

Conservation

  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Author

    Dianne J. Bray

    Resources

    Australian Faunal Directory

    Horseshoe Leatherjacket, Meuschenia hippocrepis (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

    References


    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

    Hutchins, J.B. 1994. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 866-891 figs 767-787 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

    Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. In: F.E. Wells (ed.), The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp. 239-253. Western Australian Museum.

    Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

    Hutchins, J.B. 2008. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 822-841 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

    Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

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

    Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

    Matsuura, K., Hutchins, B., Collette, B., Nelson, J., Dooley, J., Fritzsche, R. & Carpenter, K. 2010. Meuschenia hippocrepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 23 April 2015.

    May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

    Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1824. Chapter 8. Poissons. 183-328 pls 43-65 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.). Voyage autour du Monde, entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 712 pp. 96 pls.

    Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp.

    Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37465004

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:1-120 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:60 cm TL

    Native:Endemic

    Species Maps

    CAAB distribution map