Common name: Longfin pike



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

Usually occur in schools, occasionally in their hundreds, and are often seen hovering motionless in schools above the bottom. Although unrelated, Longfin Pike superficially resemble barracudas (Family Sphyraenidae).

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Longfin pike, DINOLESTIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

More Info

Family Taxonomy

Endemic Australian family with a single species, the Longfin Pike Dinolestes lewini. Although not related, Longfin Pike superficially resemble barracudas (Family Sphyraenidae).

Family Distribution

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 to 65 m.

Family Size

To 90 cm.

Family Feeding

Carnivores - predatory fishes that feed on fishes and squids.

Family Commercial

Reported to be good eating.

Family Conservation

Not evaluated.


Dianne J. Bray


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.

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