Bluelined Leatherjacket, Meuschenia galii (Waite 1905)

Other Names: Blue-lined Leatherjacket, Gale's Leatherjacket, Gal's Leatherjacket

A Bluelined Leatherjacket, Meuschenia galii, at Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution


A greenish leatherjacket with wavy blue lines and spots, and an orange tail with a bright blue margin. Females are similar on colour, but lack the blue margin on the caudal fin. Juveniles are covered in blue spots and have two to three dark brown stripes along the sides. The Bluelined Leatherjackets lack paired spines on the tail base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Meuschenia galii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Bluelined Leatherjacket, Meuschenia galii (Waite 1905)

More Info


Southern Australia from Inverloch, Victoria, to Shark Bay, Western Australia, excluding Tasmania. Inhabits coastal reefs at depths to 30 m.

Although only found in small numbers, the Bluelined Leatherjacket is most common on coastal reefs in Western Australia.


Dorsal fin II; 32-36; Anal fin 31-34; Caudal fin 12; Pectoral fin 12; Vertebrae 20.

Body oblong, moderately deep, very compressed with a small ventral flap and a shallow caudal peduncle. Head large, broadly pointed with small eyes and a very small mouth; teeth large, the central pair in both jaws pointed; a slit-like gill opening mostly above each pectoral fin base. Skin smooth to touch, without spines or bristles on the caudal peduncle; lateral line difficult to detect.

Two dorsal fins; first dorsal-fin spine prominent, situated above the eyes, juveniles with small to moderate-sized barbs along the posterolateral edges, barbs much smaller or obsolete in adults; spine partly received into a shallow groove when folded back; second dorsal fin widely separated from first, with a slightly convex outer margin and not elevated anteriorly; anal fin similar to and opposite the second dorsal fin; caudal fin truncate. Pectoral fins moderately small, rounded. Pelvic fin rudiment small but obvious, immovably attached to rear end of pelvis.


To 35 cm


Sexually dimorphic in colour - males are greenish to yellowish-brown, with bright to pale blue spots, diagonal lines on the head, and horizontal lines on the sides; dorsal and anal fin-rays greenish to orangy-brown, caudal fin membrane orange with bright blue bars near the upper and lower margins, and a bright blue hind margin.

Females are similar on colour, but lack the bright blue hind margin to the caudal fin.

Juveniles are covered in blue spots and have two to three dark brown stripes along the sides.


  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Etymology

    The species is named after Mr C.F. Gale, Chief Inspector of Fisheries, Western Australia: 'At the request of Mr. Woodward, this fish is named after Mr.  C. F. Gale, Chief Inspector of Fisheries, Western Australia. (Woodward was Curator of the Western Australian Museum at the time.)

    Species Citation

    Pseudomonacanthus galii Waite, 1905, Rec. Aust. Mus. 6(2): 79. Type Locality: Shark Bay, Western Australia.


    Bray, D.J. 2022


    Atlas of Living Australia

    Bluelined Leatherjacket, Meuschenia galii (Waite 1905)


    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 2, 624 pp.

    Harvey, E., Cappo, M., Kendrick, G. & McLean, D. 2013. Coastal fish assemblages reflect geological and oceanographic gradients within an Australian zootone. PLoS ONE 8(11): e80955.

    Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

    Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts - the Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

    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. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

    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.

    Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

    Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.

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

    Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

    Matsuura, K. 2015. Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research 62: 72-113.

    Matsuura, K., Motomura, H. & Khan, M. 2019. Meuschenia galii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T79800643A79800652. Downloaded on 27 September 2020.

    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.

    Waite, E.R. 1905. Notes on fishes from Western Australia. No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 6(2): 55-82 fig. 23 pls 8-17 See ref at BHL

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37465040

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:0-30 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:35 cm TL


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