Zigzag Ponyfish, Equulites moretoniensis (Ogilby 1912)

Other Names: Black-banded Pony-fish, Moreton Bay Ponyfish, Zig-zag Ponyfish, Zig-zag-ponyfish

A Zigzag Ponyfish, Equulites moretoniensis. Source: Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved

This species is now called Photolateralis moretonensis. The genus Photolateralis is unique among ponyfishes in possessing a translucent mid-lateral flank stripe, which in the Zigzag Ponyfish is a composite “stripe” comprised of numerous independent translucent windows. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Equulites moretoniensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 May 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2217

Zigzag Ponyfish, Equulites moretoniensis (Ogilby 1912)

More Info


Shark Bay, WA (25°21'S) to Sydney, NSW (33°58'S), NSW; tropical, New Guinea.


Males have a moderately enlarged, donut-shaped, and conspicuously spotted light organ that extends only slightly posteriorly into the gas bladder.

Species Citation

Leiognathus moretoniensis Ogilby, 1912, Mem. Qld Mus. 1: 59. Type locality: Moreton Bay, QLD.


Dianne J. Bray

Zigzag Ponyfish, Equulites moretoniensis (Ogilby 1912)


Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (as Leiognathus moretoniensis)

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) (as Equulites  moretoniensis)

Jones, G. 1985. Revision of the Australian species of the fish family Leiognathidae. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 559-613 figs 1-19 (as Leiognathus moretoniensis)

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. (p. 359, as Leiognathus moretoniensis)

Kimura, S., Kimura, R. & Ikejima, K., 2008: Revision of the genus Nuchequula with descriptions of three new species (Perciformes: Leiognathidae). Ichthyological Research 55: 22-42.

Ogilby, J. D., 1912: On some Queensland fishes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 1: 26-65, Pls. 12-14.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Leiognathus moretoniensis)

Sparks, J.S. & Chakrabarty, P. 2007. A new species of ponyfish (Teleostei: Leiognathidae: Photoplagios) from the Philippines. Copeia 2007(3): 622-629.

Sparks, J.S. & Chakrabarty, P. 2015: Description of a new genus of ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae), with a review of the current generic-level composition of the family. Zootaxa 3947(2): 181-190.

Sparks, J.S., P.V. Dunlap & W.L. Smith  2005. Evolution and diversification of a sexually dimorphic luminescent system in ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae), including diagnoses of two new genera. Cladistics 21: 305-327. (as Photoplagios moretoniensis)

Woodland, D.J., Premcharoen, S. & Cabanban, A.S. 2001. Leiognathidae. pp. 2792-2823 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. (as Leiognathus moretoniensis)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37341012


Depth:10-105 m

Habitat:Soft bottoms

Max Size:13 cm TL

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