Stout Longtom, Tylosurus gavialoides (Castelnau 1873)

Other Names: Alligator Gar, Longtom, Needlefish, Stour Longtom, Stout Long Tom, Stout Long-tom

A Stout Longtom, Tylosurus gavialoides, from Coocumbac Island, Manning River, New South Wales, April 2016. Source: Victor W Fazio III / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives


A large, robust blue, green to grey longtom becoming silvery below, with dusky fins and snout, and a truncate to slightly emarginate caudal fin with the lower lobe noticeably longer than the upper lobe. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Tylosurus gavialoides in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

Stout Longtom, Tylosurus gavialoides (Castelnau 1873)

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Endemic to tropical and subtropical waters of Australia, from Perth, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Mallacoota, Victoria. This pelagic species occurs around coral and rocky reefs, and also enters estuaries.


Dorsal fin 20-22; Anal fin 18-23.
Body and caudal peduncle sub-cylindrical; jaws greatly produced, teeth on inner row, short and strong,teeth reduced on the outer row. 
Body covered in minute, somewhat deciduous scales; lateral-line positioned low on body. Dorsal and anal fins elevated anteriorly, positioned on rear of body with dorsal-fin origin slightly anterior to anal-fin origin, and both fins are elevated anteriorly; pelvic fins abdominal, placed posteriorly, distance from anal fin less than the length of fin base; caudal fin truncate, with centre slightly emarginated in adult.


The Stout Longtom is bluish to greenish or grey above and silvery below, usually with a dusky snout and fins.


Species Citation

Belone gavialoides Castelnau 1873, Proc. Zool. Acclim. Soc. Vict. 2: 142. Type locality: Fremantle, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Stout Longtom, Tylosurus gavialoides (Castelnau 1873)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1873. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 8. Fishes of Western Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 2: 123-149

Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Belonidae. pp. 2151-2161 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 2069-2790 pp.

Collette, B.B., McGowen, G.E., Parin, N.V. & Mito, S. 1984. Beloniformes: development and relationships. 335-354 figs 172-185 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publicaton 1: 1-760.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50 

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

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

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 

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

Klunzinger, C.B. 1879. Die v. Müller'sche Sammlung Australischer Fische. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 16(22): 254-261 (as Belone groeneri)

Klunzinger, C.B. 1880. Die von Müller'sche Sammlung australischer Fische in Stuttgart. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften. Wien 80(1): 325–430 pls 1–9 (as Belone groeneri)

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

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

Macleay, W.J. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 6(2): 202-387 (as Belone gracilis)

Ogilby, J.D. 1886. Catalogue of the Fishes of New South Wales, with their principal synonyms. Sydney : Government Printer 67 pp. (as Belone macleayana)

Ogilby, J.D. 1907. Honorary curator's report and list of specimens. Amateur Fishing Club Association of Queensland. Annual Report 1906–7(3): 8-14 (as Tylosurus howesi, a nomen nudum = no description)

Ogilby, J.D. 1908. Descriptions of new Queensland fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 21: 87-98 (as Tylosurus impotens)

Parin, N.V. 1967. Review of marine belonids of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. Trudy Instituta Okeanologii. Akademiya Nauk SSSR. Moskva 84: 3-83 figs 1-25 [in Russian]

Saville-Kent, W. 1893. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia; its Products and Potentialities. London : W.H. Allen & Co., Limited. [xiii] + 388 pp. 21 figs 64 pls. (as Belone staigeri, Belone tyranusBelone vorax - all nomena nudum = no description)

Taylor, W.R. 1964. Fishes of Arnhem Land. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land 4: 44-307 figs 1-68 (as Strongylura groeneri)

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 (as Lhotskia macleayana)

Whitley, G.P. 1947. Long toms. Australian Museum Magazine 9(5): 169-173

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37235002

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Pelagic, reef associated

Max Size:130 cm TL

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