Common name: Bonefishes, Ladyfishes
Bonefishes or Ladyfishes live in most shallow, warm seas. The order comprises a single family, with two genera and about 11 species. A single genus, Albula, with two species are known from Australian waters.

Bonefishes are relatively slender, with a long snout, a heavy adipose eyelid and a gular plate, a bone found between the lower jaws of primitive bony fishes.

They grow to more than a metre in length and have an extended leptocephalus larval stage, suggesting a relationships with the eels.

They feed on bivalve molluscs, squid, shrimp and other fishes. Although they are a highly-prized fighting fish, they are not a good eating because of the very bony flesh - hence their common name.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Bonefishes ..., ALBULIFORMES in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/order/1

Order References

Colborn J, Crabtree RE, Shaklee JB, Pfeiler E, Bowen BW. 2001. The evolutionary enigma of bonefishes (Albula spp.): cryptic species and ancient separations in a globally distributed shorefish. Evolution 55: 807–820.

Forsskål, P. 1775. Descriptions Animalium, Avium, Amphibiorum, Piscium, Insectorum, Vermium; quae in intinere Orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. Havniae : Mölleri 164 pp. 43 pls.

Hidaka, K., Y. Iwatsuki & J.E. Randall. 2008. A review of the Indo-Pacific bonefishes of the Albula argentea complex, with a description of a new species. Ichthyological Research 55: 53-64.

Hildebrand, S.F. 1963. Family Albulidae. In Olsen, Y.H. (ed) Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Mem. Sears Fndn. Mar. Res. 1(3): 132–147, figs. 22–24.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Family Albulidae, pp. 226-227. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Part 1.

Randall, J.E. & Bauchot, M.-L. 1999. Clarification of the two Indo-Pacific species of bonefishes, Albula glossodonta and A. forsteri. Cybium 23(1): 79–83.

Shaklee, J.B. & Tamaru, C.S. 1981). Biochemical and morphological evolution of Hawaiian bonefishes (Albula). Syst. Zool. 30(2): 125–146 figs 1–6.

Smith, D.G. & J.E. Randall. 1999. Albulidae, pp 1623–1624. In Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes: the living marine resources of the western central Pacific, vol 3. Batoid fishes, chimeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome.

Whitehead, P.J.P. 1986. The synonymy of Albula vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) (Teleostei, Albulidae). Cybium 10: 211–230.