Bluetail Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys cyanoura Hutchins 1987

Other Names: Blue-tailed Leatherjacket

A male Bluetail Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys cyanoura. Source: David Muirhead / Marine Life Society of South Australia. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Eubalichthys cyanoura in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Bluetail Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys cyanoura Hutchins 1987

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Endemic to southern Australia, from York Peninsula, South Australia, to Dongara, Western Australia. Inhabits coastal reefs to a depth of 30 m, preferring exposed offshore areas. Juveniles have been found under jetties in coastal embayments.


Dorsal fin II + 31-35; Anal fin 32-34; Pectoral fin 12-13 (mostly 13). 
Body elongate in male, somewhat deeper in female and juvenile, depth 2.1-2.9 in SL. Lateral profile of snout prominently convex in male, straight to slightly convex in female and juvenile. Ventral flap small. Caudal peduncle without spines or bristles. Skin velvety to rather coarse. 
Dorsal spine moderate to long (1.4-1.7 in head length), originating over centre to posterior one-third of eye, and partly received by a shallow groove in interdorsal space when depressed; spine with small downward-directed barbs, barbs decreasing in size with increasing SL, becoming obsolete in large individuals. Second dorsal and anal fins elevated anteriorly in male, outer border concave; fins not elevated in female and juvenile, outer border convex. Pelvic fin rudiment small to minute, consisting of 4 encasing scales, located about one-half eye diameter in advance of rear end of pelvis.


Reaches a total length of 42 cm (36 cm SL).


Adults: head and body pale green, pale brown to blackish brown, covered with close-packed darker spots; dark brown lines and spots on snout and along anal fin base; mosaic pattern of dark brown to blackish blotches often present on side, or mosaic of pale lines only; 2 whitish bars usually present on throat (may be pale and difficult to detect in large males). All fin rays green, integuments of first dorsal and caudal fins bright blue in male, hyaline in female.
Juveniles: side of head and body with a mosaic of large dark blotches; spotting develops at about 100 mm SL.


The specific name is from the Greek kyanos (dark blue) and oura (tail), in reference to the blue caudal fin of the male.

Species Citation

Eubalichthys cyanoura Hutchins 1987, Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 51. Type locality: Sandy Hook Island, Recherche Archipelago, WA. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Bluetail Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys cyanoura Hutchins 1987


Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp. 

Hutchins, J.B. 1977. Descriptions of three new genera and eight new species of monacanthid fishes from Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 5: 3-58. (as Eubalichthys gunnii, in part)

Hutchins, J.B. 1987. New Australian Fishes. Part 12. A new species of Eubalichthys (Monacanthidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 51-52 fig. 1 DOI available, open access

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 866-891 figs 767-787 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. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Hutchins, J.B. 2008. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 822-841 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

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

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs. (as Eubalichthys sp.)

Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465055

Depth:4-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:42 cm TL


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