Gracile Saury, Saurida gracilis Quoy & Gaimard 1824

Other Names: Gracile Lizardfish, Slender Grinner, Slender Lizardfish, Slender Saury

A Gracile Saury, Saurida gracilis, at Guam. Source: David Burdick / License: All rights reserved


A mottled greyish lizardfish with three dark bars across the rear half of the body, the largest just behind the dorsal fin. The outer teeth are visible when the mouth is closed. 

The dark bars on rear half of body are usually broader than those of the Clouded Saury, Saurida nebulosa.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Saurida gracilis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Gracile Saury, Saurida gracilis Quoy & Gaimard 1824

More Info


Off Exmouth to Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to northern New South Wales; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to Hawaii and the Marquesas Islands, north to southern Japan and south to Queensland, Australia. 

Individuals inhabit silty, muddy and sandy bottoms near protected corals reefs in depths of 1-12 m.


To 32 cm.


A voracious carnivore that preys mostly on small fishes, and also on crustaceans.


The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Little is known of the biology of the Gracile Saury.


Of no interest to fisheries or aquaculture, although individuals may be taken as bycatch in commercial trawls.


Similar Species

In Australia, the Gracile Saury has long been confused with the Clouded Saury, Saurida nebulosa. The dark bars along the back in S. gracilis are broader than those of the Clouded Saury, Saurida nebulosa, and the distance between the tip of the folded back pectoral fin and the origin of the dorsal fin is slightly greater in the Clouded Saury.

Species Citation

Saurus gracilis Quoy & Gaimard 1824, Voyage autour du Monde... Vol. 1: 224. Type locality: Hawaiian Islands (as Sandwich Islands); Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Gracile Saury, Saurida gracilis Quoy & Gaimard 1824


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Allen, G.R., R.C. Steene & M. Orchard. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. 2nd Ed. Christmas Island Natural History Association. 284 p. 

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Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1824. Chapter 8. Poissons. 183-328 pls 43-65 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.) Voyage autour du Monde, entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 712 pp. 96 pls.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37118013

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-12 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy & silty areas

Max Size:32 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map