Gunn's Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys gunnii (Günther 1870)

Other Names: Black Leatherjacket, Dark Brown Leatherjacket, Dark-Brown Leatherjacket, Velvet Leatherjacket

A juvenile Gunn's Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys gunnii, at Flinders Pier, Westernport, Victoria, February 2017. Source: debaston / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A blackish, brownish, or greenish leatherjacket, with a pale or dark mosaic network of lines on the side. Juveniles are pale to dark brown, orange or greenish-brown with a mosaic pattern of pale lines and often darker blotches on the sides.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Eubalichthys gunnii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,

Gunn's Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys gunnii (Günther 1870)

More Info


Off Beware Reef, Victoria, to the Great Australian Bight, South Australia Australia, including Tasmania.
Gunn's Leatherjacket is a relatively shy species and usually inhabits the deeper parts of bays and coastal reefs, often around deepwater outcrops.
The species is fairly common on coastal reefs of Tasmania and around Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, occurring in lesser numbers in other states. Juveniles enter bays and estuaries, including Port Phillip, Victoria, where they can are often seen around piers on the Mornington Peninsula.


Dorsal fin II + 33-37; Anal fin 32-36; Caudal fin 12; Pectoral fin 12-15.
Body oblong, moderately deep, elongate in large males, very compressed, with a small ventral flap; caudal peduncle shallow. Head large, broadly pointed; eyes small; mouth very small; teeth large, central pair in both jaws pointed; gill openings in form of small slit mostly above each pectoral fin base. 
Skin velvety to rather coarse to touch; no spines or bristles on caudal peduncle; lateral line difficult to detect.
Two dorsal fins, first above eyes, consisting of prominent spine with small barbs decreasing in size as body length increases, approaching obsolescence, spine partly received into shallow groove when depressed, second dorsal widely separated from first, of moderate length, elevated anteriorly in males, outer margin slightly convex and not elevated anteriorly in females; anal fin similar to and opposing second dorsal; caudal fin rounded. Pectoral fins moderately small, rounded. Pelvic fins rudimentary, rudiment of moderate size, located about half eye diameter in advance of rear end of pelvis.

Species Citation

Monacanthus gunnii Günther 1870, Cat. Fishes Brit. Mus. 8: 247. Type locality: Tasmania.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Gunn's Leatherjacket, Eubalichthys gunnii (Günther 1870)


Castelnau, F.L. de 1873. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 3. Supplement to the fishes of Victoria. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 2: 37-58 (p. 55, as Monacanthus baudini, a possible synonym of Eubalichthys gunnii according to Hutchins 1977).

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

Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp. Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Günther, A. 1870. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Gymnotidae, Symbranchidae, Muraenidae, Pegasidae, and of the Lophobranchii, Plectognathi, Dipnoi, [thru] Leptocardii, in the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 8 549 pp. See ref at BHL

Günther, A. 1876. Remarks on fishes, with descriptions of new species in the British Museum, chiefly from southern seas. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4 17(43): 389-402. (p. 402, as Monacanthus melas) See ref at BHL

Hutchins, J.B. 1977. Descriptions of three new genera and eight new species of monacanthid fishes from Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 5(1): 3-58 figs 1-13 PDF available

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 866-891 figs 767-787 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. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2008. Family Monacanthidae. pp. 822-841 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

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

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465034

Depth:4-55 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:60 cm TL


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map