Tassel-fishes, Threadfin Salmons, Threadfins
Compiler and date details
18 January 2012 - Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton, Dianne J. Bray & Matthew M. Lockett
December 2006 - Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton & Dianne J. Bray
Worldwide, eight genera and 41 species are currently recognised in the Polynemidae (Feltes 1993; Motomura 2004). Three genera and seven species are known from Australia.
Threadfins or tassel-fishes occur worldwide in tropical and subtropical, coastal marine and estuarine environments. A few species are also known to be restricted to fresh water. The family is distinguished by having the lower 3-7 pectoral rays free from other rays, developed into thread-like projections. Polynemids are commercially important in Australia (Kailola et al. 1993). The maximum size reached is 1.8 m.
Previously, the family was grouped with the mugilids and sphyraenids (Nelson 1984), but it is now considered to be more closely related to sciaenids (Johnson 1993; Nelson 1994, 2006). The names used here are tentative, as two of the genera (Polydactylus and Polynemus) have not been reviewed recently. However, Feltes (1993) in his key to genera indicated that Polynemus only occurs from eastern India to Borneo. Feltes (1991) revised the genus Filimanus. Leptomelanosoma indicum (Shaw, 1804) is not included here, although it has been recorded from Australia (McCulloch 1929; Whitley 1964). Munro (1961), among others, questioned whether L. indicum actually occurs here. Feltes (in litt., 13/7/83) has recorded this species, as well as Polydactylus microstoma, P. sexfilis and P. sextarius, from Indonesia and/or New Guinea, but all Australian specimens so-labelled were misidentifications. In addition, Feltes (1991) recorded F. heptadactylus from further north, but found no Australian specimens to confirm the previous records of Munro (1961: 108) or Whitley (1964: 40) that presumably were based also on misidentifications. Many of the Australian species are treated in Feltes (2001) and all species are dealt with by Motomura (2004).
Ross Feltes and H. Motomura kindly supplied information on the family.
Feltes, R.M. 2001. Polynemidae. pp. 3090-3116 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.
Kailola, P.J., Williams, M.J., Stewart, P.C., Reichelt, R.E., McNee, A. & Grieve, C. 1993. Australian Fisheries Resources. Canberra : Bureau of Resource Sciences and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation 422 pp.
Motomura, H. 2004. Threadfins of the World (Family Polynemidae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of polynemid species known to date. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes, No. 3. Rome : FAO 117 pp., 152 figs, 6 pls.
Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961]
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