Black Headed Leatherjacket
Category: Salt Water
The Black Headed Leatherjacket fish are often found within shallow waters (about 2 meters deep) to waters that are as deep as even 200 meters. They are mostly seen around the coastal waters of Australia, but some specimen has also been spotted in New Zealand. The fish has a very long snout and the length of its head is always longer than its body’s depth. In terms of color, the female black headed leatherjacket fish yellow to brown throughout their body, including the fins. On the other hand, the males are green-grey, often featuring two to three dark blotches on either sides of their bodies and they also have striking yellow fins. Their size normally increase with the depth of water in which they live.
Adult black headed leatherjacket fish tend to avoid seagrass places while the juvenile types have often been caught over bare sand, in seagrass areas and on rocky reefs. However, this also depends on the type of water they occupy. For instance, in northern New South Wales, the ocean types are often seen in reef regions, but are occasionally present over sand and coral sea beds of the coastal waters of South Australia. The fish are typically carnivores that love feeding on gastropod molluscs, other small fish, salps and crustaceans. They have also been spotted feeding on squid. When feeding, these less aggressive species normally form small schools. When catching the fish, commercial fishers often set their traps at depths between 60 meters and 150 meters below the water surface. The traps, which are set at dawn and retrieved approximately 2 to 3 hours later, are baited with lobster heads. Upon being caught, the fish are headed, gutted and immediately chilled.