Smallscale Bonefish, Albula oligolepis Hidaka, Iwatsuki & Randall 2008


Smallscale Bonefish, Albula oligolepis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

Body long slender, somewhat cylindrical with the blunt conical snout overhanging the inferior mouth; eye covered by transparent adipose tissue in specimens longer than 20 cm SL; dorsal fin short-based, on middle of back, longest ray greater in length than pectoral-fin rays, last dorsal-fin ray slightly prolonged; pectoral fins low on body; pelvic fins below posterior dorsal-fin rays, tips not reaching or just reaching anus; caudal fin lobe strongly forked, upper ray slightly longer than lower.

Bright silvery-white, upper surface with fine dark longitudinal lines running between their scales, nostrils and tip of snout black, pectoral and pelvic-fin bases slightly yellow, first pelvic-fin ray white; hind margin of caudal fin black.

DID YOU KNOW: Bonefish can tolerate oxygen-poor water by gulping air into their lung-like swim-bladder.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Albula oligolepis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4774

Smallscale Bonefish, Albula oligolepis Hidaka, Iwatsuki & Randall 2008

More Info


Distribution

North-eastern and eastern Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Bay. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific.

Features

Dorsal fin 17-19; Anal fin 7-9; Pectoral fin 17-18; Pelvic fin 10; Lateral line scales (pored); Scale rows above lateral line 7.5-8; Gill rakers (first arch) 8-10  + 11-12 = 19-22; Vertebrae 64-66; Branchiostegal rays 12-15.

Eye covered by transparent adipose tissue in specimens longer than 20 cm SL; dorsal fin short-based, on middle of back, longest ray greater in length than pectoral-fin rays; last dorsal-fin ray slightly prolonged; pelvic fins inserted below posterior dorsal-fin rays, tips not reaching or just reaching anus; caudal fin lobe strongly forked, upper ray slightly longer than lower.

Size

To a length of at least 59 cm SL.

Colour

Bright silvery-white, upper surface with fine dark longitudinal lines, nostrils and tip of snout black, pectoral and pelvic-fin bases slightly yellow, first pelvic-fin ray white; hind margin of caudal fin black. In preservative: Brown on top and below with black lines along sides between dorsal scale rows; nostrils and tip of snout black.

Feeding

Carnivores. Bonefishes swim in schools, fanning out over intertidal sandflats, mudflats and seagrass beds at high tide in search of prey. They use their conical snouts to search for crustaceans, molluscs, polychaete worms and fishes in the sediment. They have powerful pharyngeal teeth in the throat to crush and grind up hard-shelled prey items.

Biology

The sexes are separate and fertilization is external. Bonefishes spawn in deeper offshore waters and the pelagic eggs hatch into transparent ribbon-like larvae called leptocephalus larvae.

Fisheries

Bonefish are popular gamefish throughout their range. However, they are not highly regarded as food fish because the flesh is very bony - which is the reason for their common name.

Similar Species

Albula oligolepis differs from Albula argentea, in having fewer pored lateral line scales (61–65 vs 68–74), fewer vertebrae (64–66 vs 71–74), fewer scale rows above the lateral line (7½–8 vs 9–10 for A. argentea) and in having the pelvic-fin tips not reaching, or just reaching the anus, vs reaching beyond the anus in A. argentea.

Etymology

The species is named oligolepis in reference to its small scales.

Species Citation

Albula oligolepis Hidaka, Iwatsuki & Randall 2008, Ichthyol. Res. 55: 59, fig. 3. Type locality: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Smallscale Bonefish, Albula oligolepis Hidaka, Iwatsuki & Randall 2008

References


Adams, A., Guindon, K., Horodysky, A., MacDonald, T., McBride, R., Shenker, J. & Ward, R. 2012. Albula oligolepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T194301A2310530. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T194301A2310530.en. Downloaded on 20 October 2017.

Colborn, J., Crabtree, R.E., Shaklee, J.B., Pfeiler, E. & Bowen, B.W. 2001. The evolutionary enigma of bonefishes (Albula spp.): cryptic species and ancient separations in a globally distributed shorefish. Evolution 55(4): 807-820 ( p. 811, as Albula sp D)

Davie, P. 1998. Wild Guide to Moreton Bay. Wildlife and habitats of a beautiful Australian coast – Noosa to the Tweed. Brisbane : Queensland Museum xxiv 408 pp. (p. 267, as Albula neoguinaica)

Grant, E.M. 1982. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : The Department of Harbours and Marine 896 pp., 459 pls p. 100, as Albula vulpes)

Grant, E.M. 1987. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. (p. 55, as Albula neoguinaica)

Hidaka, K., Iwatsuki, Y. & Randall, J.E. 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.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. 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)

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 (p. 32, as Albula argentea)

Wallace, E.M. & Tringali, M.D. 2010. Identification of a novel member in the family Albulidae (bonefishes). Journal of Fish Biology 76: 1972-1983.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37055002

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:0-10 metres

Fishing:Popular sportsfish

Habitat:Soft bottom

Max Size:35 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map