Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)

Other Names: Boarfish, Duckfish, Long Nose, Long Nose Boarfish, Longnose, Longnose Boarfish, Long-snout Boarfish, Long-snouted Boarfish, Striped Boarfish

A Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris, at Twin Reefs, Cape Patterson, Bunurong Marine Park, Victoria. Source: Mark Norman / Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution


Large distinctive fishes with deep, compressed bodies, large 'spiky-looking' fins and an almost tubular snout with a small mouth.

Longsnout Boarfish are whitish with two dark angled bands on sides, and a dark band from the front of the dorsal fin to snout tip. Fins also with dark markings. Juveniles have large brownish blotches on the body and on the dorsal and anal fins.

Video of a Longsnout Boarfish in southern New South Wales.

Cite this page as:

Dianne J. Bray, 2011, Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris, in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2016, http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/629

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)

More Info


Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia, from Botany Bay, New South Wales to Rottnest Island, Western Australia and around Tasmania.

Longsnout Boarfish inhabit rocky reefs and sandy areas in bays, harbours and along the coast, in depths of 3-260 m; rarely found in deep waters; often seen hiding under rocky ledges during the day.


Meristic features:
Dorsal fin spines/rays X-XI, 14-15
Anal fin spines/rays III, 10-11
Caudal fin rays 17
Pectoral fin rays 16-18
Pelvic fin spines/rays I, 5
Lateral line 78-85
Body moderately deep, compressed, snout almost tubular, dorsal, anal and pelvic fins large; dorsal fin with 10-11 spines, soft dorsal fin forming a distinctly pointed lobe, hind margin concave; anal fin with 3 spines, pectoral-fin base in advance of ventral-fin base, tail slightly forked.


To 70 cm


Whitish with 2 broad dark angled bands on sides, and a dark band on head from above eye to snout tip. Juveniles with large brownish blotches on body, dorsal and anal fins.




Frequently trawled throughout its range, although catch rates are low. Reportedly good to eat.


IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Not Evaluated

EPBC Act (Australia): Not listed


The fin spines are reportedly venomous.

Species Citation

Histiopterus recurvirostris Richardson, 1845, Zool. Voy. H.M.S. Erebus and Terror: 34, pl. 22(5, 6). Type locality: Storm Bay, Tasmania.


Dianne J. Bray

Longsnout Boarfish, Pentaceropsis recurvirostris (Richardson 1845)


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  • Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Enoplosidae and Pentacerotidae. pp. 609-617 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.
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  • Hardy, G.S. 1994. Pentacerotidae. pp. 629-636, figs 553-559 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.
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  • 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.
  • Richardson, J. 1845. Ichthyology. 17-52 pls 7-8 (parts), 11-30 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.
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  • Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37367003

    Danger:Venomous fin spines?

    Depth:3-260 metres

    Fishing:Commercial species

    Max Size:50 cm TL


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