Common name: Aulopus, Flagfins, Sergeant Bakers, Threadsails


A small family of bottom-dwelling fishes with four genera and about 15 species. Six described species in three genera are found in Australian waters (Gomon et al. 2013). 

Moderately slender, posteriorly tapering fishes with large heads and jaws, and two dorsal fins, the first moderately long-based, often with one or more of the anterior rays prominently elongate, and a second small adipose fin. Teeth fine, sharp and curved, both jaws with two outer rows, upper jaw with two inner rows of larger teeth; scales ctenoid; lateral line sloping to lateral midline; caudal fin forked; ventral fins broad.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon, Threadsails, AULOPIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024,


Baldwin, C.C. & G.D. Johnson. 1996. Interrelationships of Aulopiformes. InM.L.J. Stiassny, L.R. Parenti & G.D. Johnson (eds). Interrelationships of fishes. San Diego, Academic Press, pp. 355-404.

Davis, M.P. (2010) Evolutionary relationships of the Aulopiformes (Euteleostei: Cyclosquamata): a molecular and total evidence approach. In Nelson, J.S., Schultze, H.-P. & Wilson, M.V.H. (Eds.), Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts, pp. 431–470. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munchen, Germany.

Ditty, J.G., Farooqi, T. & Shaw, R.F. (2006) Order Aulopiformes: Aulopidae & Synodontidae (Suborder Synodontoidei) In: Richards, W. J. (Ed.), Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes, an Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic, CRC Marine Biology Series, Taylor & Francis Group, 2640 p. Volume I: 301–323.

Gomon, M.F., Struthers, C.D. & Stewart, A.L. 2013. A new genus and two new species of the Family Aulopidae (Aulopiformes), commonly referred to as aulopus, flagfins, sergeant bakers or threadsails, in Australasian Waters. Species Diversity 18: 141–161.

Mead, G.W. (1966) Aulopidae. In: Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Sears Foundation for Marine Research, Memoir, Number 1, Part Five. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University, pp. 19–29.

Nelson, J.S. (2006) Fishes of the World, 4th edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 601 p.