Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)

Other Names: Boarfish, Duckfish, Long Nose, Long Nose Boarfish, Longnose, Longnose Boarfish, Long-snout Boarfish, Long-snouted Boarfish, Striped Boarfish

A Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris, at Twin Reefs, Cape Patterson, Bunurong Marine Park, Victoria. Source: Mark Norman / Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution


Large distinctive fishes with deep, compressed bodies, large 'spiky' looking fins and an almost tubular snout with a small mouth.

Longsnout Boarfish are whitish with two dark angled bands on sides, and a dark band from the front of the dorsal fin to snout tip. Fins also with dark markings. Juveniles have large brownish blotches covering the body, dorsal and anal fins.

Video of a Longsnout Boarfish in southern New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2020,

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Botany Bay, New South Wales to Rottnest Island, Western Australia and around Tasmania.

Longsnout Boarfish inhabit rocky reefs and sandy areas in bays, harbours and along the coast, in depths of 3-260 m; rarely found in deep waters; often seen hiding under rocky ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin X-XI, 14-15; Anal fin III, 10-11; Caudal fin17; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales 78-85.
Body moderately deep, compressed, snout almost tubular, dorsal, anal and pelvic fins large; soft dorsal fin forming a distinctly pointed lobe, hind margin concave; pectoral-fin base in advance of pelvic-fin base, tail slightly forked.


To 70 cm


Whitish with 2 broad dark angled bands on sides, and a dark band on head from above eye to snout tip. Juveniles with large brownish blotches on body, dorsal and anal fins.
Juveniles to about 13 cm SL have the entire body, except the head, pectoral and caudal fins, covered in large, regular, dark blotches, a dark nape, and a dark stripe from the eye to the snout.




Frequently trawled throughout its range, although catch rates are low. Reportedly good to eat.


The fin spines are reportedly venomous.

Species Citation

Histiopterus recurvirostris Richardson, 1845, Zool. Voy. H.M.S. Erebus and Terror: 34, pl. 22(5, 6). Type locality: Storm Bay, Tasmania.


Dianne J. Bray

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)


  • Edgar, G.J., Last, P.R. & Wells, M.W. 1982. Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Hobart : Cat & Fiddle Press 175 pp.
  • Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Enoplosidae and Pentacerotidae. pp. 609-617 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.
  • Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.
  • Hardy, G.S. 1983. A revision of the fishes of the family Pentacerotidae (Perciformes). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 10: 177-220 figs 1-13 PDF Open access
  • Hardy, G.S. 1994. Pentacerotidae. pp. 629-636, figs 553-559 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.
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  • Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.
  • 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.
  • Richardson, J. 1845. Ichthyology. 17-52 pls 7-8 (parts), 11-30 in Richardson, J. & Gray, J.E. (eds). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror under the Command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., F.R.S., during the years 1839–43. London : E.W. Janson Vol. 2 139 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:37367003

    Danger:Venomous fin spines?

    Depth:3-260 metres

    Fishing:Commercial species

    Max Size:50 cm TL


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