Bristle-tail Leatherjacket, Acreichthys tomentosus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Banded Leather-jacket, Bristletail Filefish, Bristle-tail File-fish, Bristle-tailed Leatherjacket, Matted Leatherjacket

A Bristle-tail Leatherjacket, Acreichthys tomentosus, at Mactan, Cebu, Philippines. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A green to brown leatherjacket with irregular darker green to brown blotching, usually with whitish bands or irregular stripes through the eye, on the midside and on the back. 
The Bristle-tail Leatherjacket has short skin flaps on the dorsal-fin spine, and scattered skin-flaps on the body and is very well-camouflaged. Males have an oblong patch of bristles on the caudal peduncle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Acreichthys tomentosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Sep 2020,

Bristle-tail Leatherjacket, Acreichthys tomentosus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Groote Eylandt, Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, and the Torres Strait islands to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific from Sri Lanka to New Caledonia and Japan.
Inhabits sheltered reefs, where it is commonly seen amongst seagrass in depths to 15 m.


Feeds on benthic invertebrates such as small crustaceans, polychaete worms and molluscs.

Species Citation

Balistes tomentosus Linnaeus 1758, Systema Naturae, ed. X(1): 328. Type locality: America (in error).


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Bristle-tail Leatherjacket, Acreichthys tomentosus (Linnaeus 1758)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Ambo-Rappe, R., Nessa, M., Latucondina, H. & Lajus, D. 2013. Relationship between the tropical seagrass bed characteristics and the structure of the associated fish community. Scientific Research 3(5): 331-342.

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Gumanao, G.S., Bos, A.R. & Randall, J.E. 2018. The Seagrass Filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus (Linnaeus), a master of camouflage. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 30: 48-64.

Johnson, J.W. & Gill, A.C. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria Scientific Study Report. Geography Monograph Series. Brisbane: Royal Geographic Society of Queensland. pp. 239-260

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, ed. X. Holmiae. v. 1: i-ii + 1-824  

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Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. 2016. Acreichthys tomentosus. (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69921254A115473596. Downloaded on 03 July 2017.  

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465042

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map