King Threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir (Günther 1867)

Other Names: Blind Salmon, Blink Tassel-fish, Burnett Salmon, Gold Threadfin, King Salmon, Kingfish, Sheridan Threadfin, Sheridan's Threadfin, Striped Tassel Fish, Tassel-fish, Threadfin Salmon

King Threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large inshore marine species.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J Bray, Polydactylus macrochir in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jun 2024,

King Threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir (Günther 1867)

More Info


Widespread in northern Australia, from at least Eighty Mile Beach (Western Australia) to the Brisbane River (Queensland) in depths of 0-6 m. the species also occurs in southern New Guinea.


To a maximum size of 1.7 m in length and a weight of over 40 kg.


The King Threadfin is a protandrous hermaphrodite. Females spawn pelagic eggs, and the pelagic larval duration is unknown.


Commercially important in northern Australia. This popular food fish is also targeted by anglers.


Horne et al. (2012) found that populations of Polydactylus macrochir across northern Australia are genetically fragmented..


Dianne J Bray

King Threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir (Günther 1867)


Bibby JM, McPherson J (1997) Age and growth of five target fish species in the Gulf of Carpentaria inshore gillnet fishery. In: Garrett RN (ed) Biology and harvest of tropical fishes in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria gillnet fishery. Final Report No. 92/145, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane

Halliday IA, Robins JB, Mayer DG, Staunton-Smith J, Sellin MJ (2008) Effects of freshwater flow on the year-class strength of a non-diadromous estuarine finfish, King threadfin (Polydactylus macrochir), in a dry-tropical estuary. Mar Freshw Res 59: 157−164

Horne, J.B., P. Momigliano, D.J. Welch, S.J. Newman & L. van Herwerden. 2012. Searching for common threads in threadfins: phylogeography of Australian polynemids in space and time. Marine Ecology Progress Series 449: 263–276.

Moore BR, Welch DJ, Simpfendorfer CA (2011) Spatial patterns in the demography of a large estuarine teleost: king threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir. Mar Freshw Res 62: 937−951

Motomura H (2004) Threadfins of the world (Family Polynemidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of poly nemid species known to date. FAO species catalogue for fishery purposes 3. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome

Motomura H, Iwatsuki Y, Kimura S, Yoshino T (2000) Re-description of Polydactylus macrochir (Gunther, 1867) a senior synonym of Polynemus sheridani (Macleay, 1884) (Perciformes: Polynemidae). Ichthyol Res 47: 327−333

Newman SJ, Allsop Q, Ballagh AC, Garrett RN et al. (2010) Variation in stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C) signatures in the sagittal otolith carbonate of king threadfin, Polydactylus macrochir across northern Australia reveals multifaceted stock structure. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 396: 53−60

Pember MB, Newman SJ, Hesp SA, Young GC, Skepper CL, Hall NG, Potter IC (2005) Biological parameters for managing the fisheries for blue and king threadfin salmons, estuary rockcod, Malabar grouper and mangrove jack in north-western Australia. Fisheries Research and Development Corporation Final Report No. 2002/003. Murdoch University, Perth

Welch DJ, Ballagh A, Newman SJ, Lester RJ et al. (2010) Defining the stock structure of northern Australia’s threadfin salmon species. Draft final report to the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, Project 2007/032. Fishing & Fisheries Research Centre, James Cook University, Townsville

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37383005

Biology:Changes sex

Depth:0-6 metres

Max Size:1.7 m & 40 kg

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map