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, a dark band from the front of the dorsal fin to snout tip, and dark markings on the fins. Juveniles have large brownish blotches on the body, dorsal and anal fins.

Video of a Longsnout Boarfish in southern New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/629

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Sydney, New South Wales, to Rottnest Island, Western Australia, including around Tasmania.

Inhabits rocky reefs and sandy areas in bays, harbours, and coastal waters at depths to 260 m. They rarely occur in deep waters, and are often seen sheltering beneath 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.


The specific name recurvirostris is from the Latin recurvus (= curved upwards) and rostrum (= beak, bill, snout) in reference to the very concave snout of this species.

Species Citation

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


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)


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  • 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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