Prionurus microlepidotus (Lacepede, 1804)

Common Name: 
Australian Sawtail
Distribution: 

Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Western Pacific region: eastern Australia including Lord Howe Island. Also recorded from Japan. In Australia recorded from north Queensland south to Merimbula in southern New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: 

Frequents coastal and offshore shallow reefs and islands.

Additional Notes: 

Pale colour with five to seven spines on rear of body. Schools numbering hundreds not uncommon and occasionally encircle divers as they move through an area feeding on benthic algae. Large individuals may change colour to a ghostly white while attending cleaning stations, as in lower photograph which also shows a number of small Common Cleanerfish, Labroides dimidiatus. Grows to 70 cm.

References: 

R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.436.

Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Prionurus+microlepidotus. Accessed 02/07/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Prionurus-microlepidotus.html. Accessed 02/07/18.