Swallowtail, Centroberyx lineatus (Cuvier 1829)

Other Names: Kingfish, Swallow-tail, Swallowtail Nannygai

Swallowtail, Centroberyx lineatus. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A medium-sized silvery-red Redfish with reddish scale edges forming narrow horizontal lines along the sides, a red eye, red fins, and pale upper and lower margins on the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Centroberyx lineatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3744

Swallowtail, Centroberyx lineatus (Cuvier 1829)

More Info


ENE of Merimbula, New South Wales, to southwest of Shark Bay, Western Australia; not known from Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in Japan. Forms schools near rocky outcrops, pinnacles and reefs in depths of 12-160 metres.


Dorsal fin VI, 14; Anal fin IV, 14; Caudal fin 19; Pectoral fin 14; Pelvic fin I, 7; Lateral line scales 48-51.
Body rather shallow (approx. 38% SL), moderately compressed. Head large (approx. 32% SL), with finely serrated bony ridges; eye large (approx. 40% HL); mouth large, oblique, reaching past centre of eye; teeth minute, broad band in upper jaw, narrow band in lower; operculum with serrated bony border.  

Scales fairly small, distinctly ctenoid, covering body, cheek and operculum anteriorly; lateral line straight; scales between dorsal fin and lateral line 7. 

Single dorsal fin of moderate length, positioned centrally on back with spines progressively increasing and rays progressively decreasing in length from front to rear; anal fin similar to dorsal fin in shape, opposite soft part of dorsal, ending slightly past posterior end of dorsal-fin base; caudal fin deeply forked, tips extended. Pectoral fins long and pointed, upper rays longest. Pelvic fins pointed, origin below pectoral- fin base.


The specific name is from the Latin lineatus (= lined), in reference to the narrow lines along the side formed from the reddish scale margins.

Species Citation

Beryx lineatus Cuvier, in Cuvier and Valenciennes 1829, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 3: 226, pl. 60. Type locality: King George's Sound, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Swallowtail, Centroberyx lineatus (Cuvier 1829)


Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp.

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1829. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 3 500 pp. pls 41-71. See ref at BHL

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Harvey, E.S., Butler, J.J., McLean, D.L. & Shand, J. 2012. Contrasting habitat use of diurnal and nocturnal fish assemblages in temperate Western Australia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 426-427: 78-86 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2012.05.019

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & A. Hoschke (eds). The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth, Western Australia : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services

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

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 (described as Beryx muelleri, type locality King George Sound, Western Australia)

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 Beryx muelleri)

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

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1994. Family Berycidae. pp. 392-398 figs 352-357 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

McCulloch, A.R. 1911. Report on the fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Part 1. Zoological (Biological) Results. Endeavour 1(1): 1-87 figs 1-20 pls 1-16 (as Austroberyx lineatus)

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5: 1–144 (as Trachichthodes lineatus)

Moore, J. 2020. Centroberyx lineatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123356374A123356652. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T123356374A123356652.en. Accessed on 07 December 2022.

Roberts, C.D. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Berycidae. pp. 415-419 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37258005

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:12-160 m

Fishing:Recreational fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:36cm SL

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