Yellowfin Leatherjacket, Meuschenia trachylepis (Günther 1870)

Other Names: Yellow-finned Leatherjacket, Yellow-finned Leather-jacket

A Yellowfin Leatherjacket, Meuschenia trachylepis, at Fly Point, Nelson Bay, New South Wales . Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved


A greyish to yellowish-brown leatherjacket with bright blue lines and scribbles from the snout along the upper surface to the caudal-fin base, and along the anal-fin base, patches of dark spots and scribbles on the midsides, and a yellowish-orange caudal fin with white basal and marginal bands. Each side of the caudal peduncle has 2 pairs of spines that are prominent in males and small in females and juveniles.

Juveniles are bright green or dusky brown and are well-camouflaged amongst seagrass and kelp.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Meuschenia trachylepis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Yellowfin Leatherjacket, Meuschenia trachylepis (Günther 1870)

More Info


Endemic to eastern Australia from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria - Moreton Bay to Lakes Entrance, possibly north to Noosa in QLD. Adults usually inhabit kelp-covered rocky reefs and sponge gardens in estuaries and along the coast, whereas juveniles usually shelter in seagrass and kelp beds.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Sixspine Leatherjacket, Meuschenia freycineti, in having 2 pairs of spines on each side of the caudal peduncle, vs 3-4 pairs of spines in M. freycineti. In both species, the spines are prominent in males and smaller in females and juveniles.

Species Citation

Monacanthus trachylepis Günther 1870, Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum 8: 248. Type locality: Australia, probably Sydney.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Yellowfin Leatherjacket, Meuschenia trachylepis (Günther 1870)


Bell, JD, JJ Burchmore & DA Pollard.  1978. Feeding Ecology of Three Sympatric Species of Leatherjackets (Pisces : Monacanthidae) from a Posidonia Seagrass Habitat in New South Wales. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 29(5): 631-643.

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. 

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

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. 

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 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

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

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls. 

Roughley, T.C. 1957. Fish and Fisheries of Australia. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 341 pp. 

Swainston, R. 2011. Swainston's Fishes of Australia: The complete illustrated guide. Camberwell, Victoria : Penguin Australia 836 pp. 

Whitley, G.P. 1929. Studies in Ichthyology No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 17(3): 101-143 figs 1-5 pls 30-34

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465059

Depth:0-40 m

Habitat:Rocky reefs, seagrass beds

Max Size:40 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map