Common name: Leatherjackets



Small to moderate sized fishes with an oval to circular compressed body, tough leathery skin covered in rough spines and a prominent depressible spine over the eye that can locked in an upright position by a tiny second dorsal-fin spine.

Leatherjackets have a small mouth, a small gill slit, and long-based soft dorsal and anal fins. Pelvic fins are absent, or reduced to a bony element fused to the rear of the pelvic bone.

Leatherjackets are most diverse in Australian waters, with 58 species in 23 genera – more than half the known species worldwide.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, 2012, Leatherjackets , MONACANTHIDAE, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Feb 2015,


Matsuura, K. 2014. Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5