Pugnose Ponyfish, Deveximentum insidiator (Bloch 1787)

Pugnose Ponyfish, Deveximentum insidiator. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A greenish to brownish ponyfish becoming silvery white on the sides (sometimes with minute dark spots), with 11–15 dark broken vertical bars and spots extending just below the lateral line, a black curved band from the lower margin of the eye to the rear angle of the lower jaw, a black tip on the anterior dorsal-fin spines, and a partly yellow caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Deveximentum insidiator in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2220

Pugnose Ponyfish, Deveximentum insidiator (Bloch 1787)

More Info


Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, to Bundaberg, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits shallow coastal waters and estuaries, forming loose schools near the bottom. 


Dorsal fin VIII-IX, 15-16; Anal fin III, 14; Pectoral fin 17-18; Gill rakers (6-7)+(17-21); Lateral scales ~50. 
Body oval, compressed, depth1.6-2.5 in  standard length. Head strongly concave above eye; mouth strongly oblique, pointing upward when closed, tip of maxilla reaching well below level of lower margin of eye; nuchal spine present; nostrils situated above eyes. Body scales small, 22–28 rows between bases of pectoral and pelvic fins; cheeks and breast, including isthmus, naked; lateral line barely visible, ending slightly before end of dorsal fin.


Feeds on zooplankton including copepods, mysids, and larval fishes and crustaceans.


Taken mostly in bottom trawls.


The specific name is from the Latin insidiator (= one who lies in ambush, a lurker, plotter) possibly in reference tot he highly protrusible mouth of this species.

Species Citation

Zeus insidiator Bloch 1787, Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische Vol. 3: 41, pl. 192(2, 3). Type locality: Surate [Surat], Surat District, India, Tapti River estuary, into Gulf of Khambhat, Arabian Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Pugnose Ponyfish, Deveximentum insidiator (Bloch 1787)


Abraham, K.J., Joshi, K.K. & Murty, V.S.R. 2011. Taxonomy of the fishes of the family Leiognathidae (Pisces, Teleostei) from the west coast of India. Zootaxa 2886: 1-18 

Blaber, S.J.M. 1980. Fish of the Trinity Inlet System of North Queensland with notes on the ecology of fish faunas of tropical Indo-Pacific estuaries. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 31: 137-146. (as Secutor insidiator)

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(3): 375-396. (as Secutor insidiator)

Bloch, M.E. 1787. Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin : J. Morino Vol. 3 146 pp. pls 181-216. 

Chakrabarty, P., Amarasinghe, T. & Sparks, J.S. 2009. Redescription of ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae) of Sri Lanka and the status of Aurigequula Fowler 1918. Ceylon Journal of Science 37(2): 143-161 

Chakrabarty, P., Sparks, J.S. & Ho., H.-C. 2010. Taxonomic review of the ponyfishes (Perciformes: Leiognathidae) of Taiwan. Marine Biodiversity 40: 107-121 

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 Secutor insidiator)

Hoese, D.F. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Leiognathidae. pp. 1176-1182 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. (as Secutor insidiator)

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 Secutor insidiator)

Kottelat, M. 2013. The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 27: 1-663 

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. (as Secutor insidiator)

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 (as Secutor insidiator)

Mochizuki, K. & Hayashi, M. 1989. Revision of the leiognathid fishes of the genus Secutor, with two new species. Science Reports of the Yokosuka City Museum 37: 83-95 figs 1-7 (as Secutor insidiator)

Randall, J.E., 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu, Hawaii : University of Hawaii Press, 720 pp. (as Secutor insidiator)

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Secutor insidiator)

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 Secutor insidiator)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37341006


Depth:1-50 m

Habitat:Coastal waters, estuaries

Max Size:11.5 cm TL

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