Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)

Other Names: Jack Pike, Longfinned Pike, Long-finned Pike, Long-finned Seapike, Pike, Skipjack Pike, Yellowfin Pike

Long-finned Pike, Dinolestes lewini, at Shelly Beach, Manly, New South Wales, 30 May 2016. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


Slender predatory greyish to yellowish-brown fishes becoming silvery below, with a yellow tail, a narrow pointed head, a large eye, a large mouth with a slightly protruding lower jaw, and a single row of small teeth in both jaws. The small first dorsal fin is widely-separated from the larger second dorsal, the anal fin is long-based, and the lateral line is almost straight and continues far onto the tail.

Longfin Pike are often seen hovering motionless in schools above the bottom, occasionally in their hundreds.

Video of Longfin Pike at Rye Pier, Port Phillip, Victoria.

Cite this page as:
Dinolestes lewini in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4241

Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)

More Info


Endemic to and widespread in southern Australia from about Newcastle (New South Wales) to the Perth region (Western Australia) and around Tasmania. Longfin Pike inhabit coastal waters, including bays and estuaries, near seagrass beds and exposed reefs in depths to 65 m.


To 90 cm, although usually to about 50 cm.


Body greyish to yellowish-brown above, silvery below tail yellow. Individuals in estuaries tend to be more yellowish or brownish than those in offshore waters.


Carnivores - predatory fishes that feed mostly on other fishes and squids.


Early life history and larval development is described by Miskiewicz et al. (1999).


Not commercially fished, although reportedly good eating.


IUCN: Not evaluated

Similar Species

Although unrelated, Longfin Pike superficially resemble barracudas of the family Sphyraenidae, which differ in having short-based dorsal and anal fins.


The species is named lewini after Mr Lewin who illustrated the specimen on which the original description was based.

Species Citation

Esox lewini Griffith & Smith 1834, The class Pisces, arranged by the Baron Cuvier: 465, Pl. 60. Type locality: New Holland [= Australia].


Australian Faunal Directory

Longfin Pike, Dinolestes lewini (Griffith 1834)


Allen, G.R. & M.F. Gomon. 2008. Family Dinolestidae, pp. 565-566 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Castelnau, F.L. de 1872. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 1. The Melbourne fish market. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 1: 29-242 1 pl. (as Neosphyraena multiradiata)

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

Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. 544 pp.

Edgar, G.J., Last, P.R. & Wells, M.W. 1982. Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Hobart : Cat & Fiddle Press 175 pp.

Fraser, T.H. 1971. The fish Dinolestes lewini with comments on its osteology and relationships. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 18(4): 157-163. https://doi.org/10.11369/jji1950.18.157, open access

Glover, C.J.M. 1994. Family Dinolestidae. 572 fig. 507 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.

Griffith, E. & Smith, C.H. 1834. The class Pisces, arranged by the Baron Cuvier, with supplementary additions, by Edward Griffith, F.R.S., &c. and Lieut.-Col. Charles Hamilton Smith, F.R., L.S.S., &c. &c. In: Cuvier, G: The animal kingdom, arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, member of the Institute of France, &c. &c. &c., with supplementary additions to each order, by Edward Griffith ... and others. (2nd ed.) Whittaker & Co., London. 1-680, Pls. 1-62 + 3.

Günther, A. 1872. Description of two new fishes from Tasmania. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4 10(26): 183-184 (as Lanioperca mordax)

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. 1872. Zur Fische-fauna von Süd Australien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 38(1): 17-47 pl. 2 (as Dinolestes muelleri)

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. 433 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Miskiewicz, A.G., Neira, F.J. & Tait, S.E. 1999. Development and ecology of larvae of the monotypic Australian fish family Dinolestidae. Australian Journal of Zoology 47(1): 37-45 doi:10.1071/ZO98068. PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327002

Depth:1-65 m

Habitat:Benthopelagic, coastal

Max Size:90 cm TL


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