Howies Scuba

 Fish Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving

 Leatherjackets & Filefish

Filefish (also known as foolfish, leatherjackets or shingles) are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae. Found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the filefish family contains approximately 107 species in 26 genera. Filefish are closely related to the triggerfish, pufferfish and trunkfish. Their laterally compressed bodies and rough, sandpapery skin inspired the filefish's common name; it is said that dried filefish skin was once used to finish wooden boats... (Wikipedia)


Fan Bellied Leatherjacket
(Monacanthus chinensis)

This picture on the left was the first picture I had ever taken of a Fanbellied Leatherjacket and at the time I did not know what I was looking at as it just floated on by.

The Fanbellied Leatherjacket are common at the dives sites around Perth.

I don't know if these Orange coloured Fanbellied Leatherjackets are females, juveniles, whether they change colour due to something seasonal.

Photographs 9 & 10 just showing the more varying colour schemes of this fish, almost lime green, weird.

I would love to find out the reason for such variation in colour, any information would be greatly appreciated.

Deformed Fan Belly

This rather unfortunate looking Fan Bellied LJ photographed at Ammo Jetty.

I had about 1 second to fire off a snap and it was gone.

Very weird looking, reminds me of a squashed up, yet humpbacked old boot.

Horseshoe Leatherjacket
(Meuschenia hippocrepis)

Now these Horseshoe Leather Jackets are getting on my nerves, I have had two excellent opportunities to photograph them and both times.... well you can see the results. Photographs taken at Point Peron and Robbs Jetty.

The bottom two photographs taken at BBR, finally got myself a half decent photo but, not a brilliant one, so on the way out just asked a guy fishing off the harbour wall to drop his catch back into the water so I could get a close up, easy really, just have to either take a line with me when diving or a spare fisherman, not sure he would fit in my spares bag ?

 Mosaic Leatherjacket
(Eubalichthys mosaicus)

Photographs taken at Robbs Jetty and Rockingham DT 

These two photographs 3 & 4 taken at Robbs Jetty.

Photographs 5 & 6 taken on a night dive at Rockingham DT.

Photographs 7 & 8 are from my dive at Busselton Jetty included to show colour variation.

This photograph donated by Mel Turner, showing what appears to be a Mosaic LJ hanging on to some algae or weed whilst sleeping, taken on a night dive at KGT.

Now we know Pygmy LJ's do this but I never knew Mosaics did.

Night dive @ Ammo Jetty.

Prickly Leatherjacket  aka Tassled Filefish

(Chaetodermis pencilligera)

The Tassled Filefish is a lovely looking fish, its fanned tail is wonderful, it looks like an arrow head.

Photographs taken at Robbs Jetty, Rockingham DT and Point Peron.

Sixspine Leatherjacket

(Meuschenia freycineti) 

This pair of quite stunning looking Leatherjacket was photographed at Robbs Jetty.

You can clearly see in photographs 3 & 4 why these fish get their names, with this very very prominent and rigid looking six spines on the tail.

The bottom two photographs here where also taken at Robbs Jetty.

I am considering whether these are in fact female Sixspine Leatherjackets.

There is some variety known in this species, and there are some similarities when seen in their natural habitat.

This taken on a night @ the Gareenup Wreck, almost white in colouration, we had seen it earlier on the day dive showing off similar colouration as to the top photos.

Degen's leatherjacket aka Bluefin Leatherjacket
(Thamnaconus degeni)

Photographed Jervoise Bay Woodmans Point.

This fish has changed names more times than I care to remember, so I am keeping it as it until I find a definitive answer.

As always any help would be great.

 Yellow Striped Leatherjacket

(Meuschenia flavolineata)

Photographed at the Lena Wreck Bunbury & at the Gareenup Wreck, showing variations.

Juvenile Blue-Lined Leatherjacket
(Meuschenia galii)

Photographed at RWT.

Loved its own reflection in the camera lens this little thing when I was videoing, but when I wanted to get nice and close for a photograph it didn't want to know.

This more mature Blue Jined LJ photographed on a night dive @ RWT. Observed it holding on to the chicken coop with its mouth similar to what Pygmy LJ's do when sleeping.

Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket

(Brachaluteres jacksonianus)

How cool are these tiny little guys, they're at a push about 10 cms long, so small, these where photographed at Ammo Jetty March 2011 and this was the first time I had ever seen them.

The colourings of this one on the left is beautiful.

Photographs 3 - 6 take at Wells Park Jetty.

How they blend so well with the encrusting life is perfect, very difficult to notice.

But how beautiful is the vivid orange colouring of photographs 9 - 12, stunning.

A big thanks to my good dive buddy MAC "The Spade" Calder for donating this wonderful little baby.

I just love the colour variation in these fish. This lemon/Lime obviously new it had been Wimbledon week because it looks like a little tennis ball.

Photographed at Woodmans' Point Groin.

This little baby hanging on whilst sleeping @ Ammo Jetty.
As far as I know they're not the same Leatherjacket, even though they look remarkably similar, there was about 12 months between photos, but it was at Ammo Jetty so you never know.

Rough Leatherjacket
(Scobinichthys granulatus)

These are actually the same photograph with the second image a rotated version of the first.

This fish did not hang about it took a quick nibble on the algae, saw me and scooted off.

Photographs taken at Jervoise Bay & Roberts Point.

Bottom photographs taken at Busselton Jetty

Photographs below I originally had as a juvenile Fan-belly, however the more I look at it, it has a striking resemblance to Rough Leatherjackets.

look how tiny this guy is up against Stevie G.

Bridled Leatherjacket

(Acanthauteres spilomelanurus) 

These Bridled Leatherjackets  where photographed at Rockingham DT. They are so tiny, approx. 10 cms in length. They were a little cautious about me when I approached. As I attempted to get a close up photograph they scarpered off, hence the poor quality of these blown up pictures.

The next 4 photographs taken on a night dive at Ammo Jetty. These where taken approx 18 months after the originals above.

This little thing was nearly impossible to photograph as it kept moving in and out of the weed and there was a little bit of surge as we where very close to the shore line.

I think this is a female Bridles LJ due to the fact it has no Bridle. I love the way it blends in to its environment.
Its getting better, but still cant get a break when it comes to photographing these things.

Loads of these at KGT but as soon as you look at them they get skittish and worried so decide to run away.

They're not getting any better these photos that's for sure. This set of four taken at South Mole & the Gareenup Wreck.
Juvenile Spiny Tailed Leatherjacket
(Acanthaluteres Brownii)

Such distinctive markings I would have thought this fish would have been really easy to identify, but no..... not a thing for about 12 months  until Philip Good from Murdoch University Divers made this suggestion.

Photographed at Ammo jetty.

Bluetail Leatherjacket
(Eubalichthys cyanoura)

I have struggled to ID this fishy.... But I think it is a female Bluetail LJ.

Was very timid indeed, every time I tried to go over the rope it would duck under to the other side, and when i tried to get closer it just darted off. Could have done with a bit more detail to help with the ID. Also doesn't help that it was at the RWT, very mucky vis.

 Unidentified Leatherjacket No# 1

Another Leatherjacket to sit in this place that is almost certain to be a Fan-bellied Leatherjacket.

Taken on a night dive at Robbs Jetty, which could be the reason for some confusion over the identification of this fish. Many fish show some type of variations when seen at night.


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