Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty
The blue-lined leatherjacket is a common occurrence at the Underwater Observatory, particularly during the spring and summer period when they were observed on a daily basis. They are often seen swimming through as individuals or pausing to nibble on the piles on which they feed indiscriminately on invertebrates.
The blue-lined leatherjacket is one of 22 species of leatherjacket that occur in southern Australia, temperate waters. Most easily recognised by the distinctive pattern of blue stripes and spots extending over the body and a bright orange tail. As with most leatherjackets the blue-lined leatherjacket exhibits a prominent, separate first dorsal spine. This species lacks the spines in front of the tail.
Found from Shark Bay, WA to Wilsons Promontory, Victoria the blue-lined leatherjacket is abundant on shallow seaweed covered reefs in protected bays to deeper offshore in algae and sponge zones. They grow to a maximum length of 40 centimetres.
Edgar, G. (1997) Australian Marine Life: The Plants and Animals of Temperate Waters. Australia
Hutchins, Barry. (2000) Under Southern Seas: The Ecology of Australia’s Rocky Reefs. UNSW Press, Australia
Hutchins, B and Swainston, R. (1986) Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Swainston Publishing, Australia