Ocean Leatherjacket, Nelusetta ayraud (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)


Other Names: Chinaman, Chinaman Leatherjacket, Chinaman Leather-jacket, Chinaman-leatherjacket, Chunks, Leatherjonnie, Leather-jonnie, Ocean Jacket, Yellow Jacket, Yellow Leatherjacket, Yellow Leather-jacket

An Ocean Leatherjacket, Nelusetta ayraud, at Kioloa, New South Wales, March 2006. Source: Sascha Schultz / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:

Females are bright yellowish-brown, with 3-4 indistinct narrow stripes along the sides and bright yellow fins. Males are a greyish-steely blue with numerous black blotches scattered along the lower abdomen, bright yellow dorsal and anal fins, and a bluish-grey caudal fin. Juveniles have 4-5 brown stripes separated by light-yellow stripes along the sides.

This large leatherjacket is common on offshore reefs, and is well known for attacking hooked fish - and the occasional unwary diver.

Video of a school of Ocean Leatherjackets killing a blue-ringed octopus.

Ocean Leatherjackets in the Perth Canyon.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Nelusetta ayraud in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/811

Ocean Leatherjacket, Nelusetta ayraud (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

More Info


Distribution

Endemic to the southern half of Australia from about Moreton Bay, Queensland, to the Murion Islands, Western Australia, and around Tasmania. The species has also been reported from New Zealand.
Juveniles inhabit coastal bays and estuaries, while adults usually occur in deeper offshore waters.

Colour

Females are bright yellowish-brown, with 3-4 narrow indistinct stripes along the sides and bright yellow fins. Males are a greyish-steely blue colur with many numerous black blotches scattered along the lower abdomen, bright yellow dorsla and anal fins and a bluish-grey caudal fin. Juveniles have 4-5 brown stripes separated by light-yellow stripes along the sides.

Feeding

Feeds mostly on salps, along with gastropod molluscs, crustaceans and fishes.The species is well known for attacking fishes much larger than themselves, taking chunks of flesh from their prey with their razor sharp teeth.

Fisheries

A large schooling species that supports substantial commercial and recreational fisheries.

Remarks

Ocean Leatherjackets are notorious for attacking fish hooked on offshore reefs, and have even been known to attack divers. 

Species Citation

Balistes ayraud Quoy & Gaimard 1824, Voyage autour du Monde, ... 1: 216, pl. 47, fig. 2. Type locality: Shark Bay, Western Australia.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2019

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Ocean Leatherjacket, Nelusetta ayraud (Quoy & Gaimard 1824)

References


Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp.

Grove-Jones, R.P. & Burnell, A.F. 1991. Fisheries biology of the ocean jacket (Monacanthidae: Nelusetta ayraudi) in the eastern waters of the Great Australian Bight. South Australian Department of Fisheries. FIRDC Project DFS01Z. Final Report. 107 pp.

Hollard, H.L. 1854. Monographie de la famille des balistides. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Paris 4 2: 321-366 3 figs (as Monocanthus platifrons)

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 (as Nelusetta ayraudi)

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. Monacanthidae. pp. 3929-3947 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston, 1986. Sea fishes of southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Swainston Publishing. Perth. 180 pp.

Jenyns, L. 1842. Part 4 Fishes. pp. 97-172 pls 21-29 in Darwin, C. (ed.). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle under the command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. during the years 1832 to 1836. London : Smith, Elder & Co. (as Aleuteres velutinus)

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

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)

Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. & Grieve, C. 1993. Australian Fisheries Resources. Canberra : Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 422 pp.

Kner, R. 1867. Fische, Dritte Abteilung. Reise der österreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857–1858–1859, unter den Befehlen des Commodore B. von Wüllestorf-Urbair. Zoologischer Theil 1. Wien : Kurl Gerold's & Sohn Vol. 5 273-433 pp. 12-16 pls. (as Monacanthus frauenfeldii)

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

Lindholm, R. 1984. Observation on the ocean jacket Nelusetta ayraudi (Quoy and Gaimard) in the Great Australian Bight. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35(5): 597-599.

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

Matsuura, K. 2014. Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research 62(1): 72-113.

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.

Miller, M.E. 2007. Key biological parameters and commercial fishery for ocean leatherjackets, Nelusetta ayraudi, (Monacanthidae) off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. Master of Environmental Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Miller, M.E. & Stewart, J. 2009. The commercial fishery for ocean leatherjackets (Nelusetta ayraudi, Monacanthidae) in New South Wales, Australia. Asian Fish Sci 22: 257–264

Miller, M.E., Stewart, V. & West, R.J.  2010. Using otoliths to estimate age and growth of a large Australian endemic monacanthid, Nelusetta ayraudi (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824). Environmental Biology of Fish 88(3): 263–271.

Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1824. Chapter 8. Poissons. 183-328 pls 43-65 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.). Voyage autour du Monde, entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 712 pp. 96 pls.

Richardson, J. 1846. Ichthyology. 53-74 pls 31-41, 43-44 & 53 (part) in Richardson, J. & Gray, J.E. (eds). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror under the Command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., F.R.S., during the years 1839–43. London : E.W. Janson Vol. 2 139 pp. (p. 66, as Monacanthus vittatus)

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

Stewart, A.L. & Roberts, C.D. 2015. 246 Family Monacanthidae. pp. 1716-1723 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds) The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Wedlick, L. 1980. What Fish is That. Newport, Victoira : Wedneil Publications 135 pp.

Whitley, G.P. 1930. Leatherjacket genera. The Australian Zoologist 6(2): 179 (as Nelus vittata)

Whitley, G.P. 1939. Studies in Ichthyology No. 12. Records of the Australian Museum 20(4): 264-277 figs 1-3 (as Nelusetta ayraud and Nelusetta vittata)

Williams, A., Last, P.R., Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. 1996. Species composition and checklist of the demersal ichthyofauna of the continental slope off Western Australia (20–35º). Records of the Western Australian Museum 18: 135-155

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & Ward, R.D. (eds) 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook. Hobart : CSIRO Marine Research 460 pp.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37465006

Behaviour:Schooling species

Depth:0-360 m

Fishing:Commercial, recreational fish

Max Size:100 cm TL

Native:Endemic

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map