Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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CAAB: 37055001

Species Albula argentea (Forster, 1801)

Pacific Bonefish, Banana-fish, Bonefish, Ghost Of The Flats, Grey Ghost, Lady Fish, Ladyfish

Compiler and date details

20 April 2011 - Dianne J. Bray, John R. Paxton, J.E. Gates & Douglass F. Hoese

20 December 2006 - John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese



The name Albula argentea was not used in Australia because it was a secondary homonym. It is now regarded as the appropriate name (see Kottelat 2013). Albula argentea (previously recorded as A. forsteri or Albula neoguinica) has been confirmed from some localities in Australia. However, it appears that most records of Albula from Australia have been based on Albula oligolepis. Material in museums has not been re-identified. Consequently, information presented here is tentative and actual distributions cannot be confirmed at this time. Hida et al. (2008) examined little material from Australia, but speculated that most would probably be A. oligolepis based on material used by Colborn et al. (2001). We include limited records here.




New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Coral Bay, WA (23º10'S, 113º45'E) to Port Hacking, NSW (34º05´S, 151°09'E), and Lord Howe Island, some records may have been based on other species; tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)


Northern Shelf Province (25), Northwest Shelf Transition (26), Northwest Shelf Province (27), Central Western Shelf Transition (28), Central Eastern Shelf Province (38), Central Eastern Shelf Transition (39), Northeast Shelf Province (40), Northeast Shelf Transition (41)

Distribution References

Ecological Descriptors

Leptocephalus larva: planktonic.

Continental shelf, inshore, marine.

Extra Ecological Information

Depth range 0-10m


General References

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. [50] (as A. neoguinaica)

Colborn, J., Crabtree, R.E., Shaklee, J.B., Pfeiler, E. & Bowen, B.W. 2001. The evolutionary enigma of bonefishes (Albula spp.): cryptic species and ancient separations in a globally distributed shorefish. Evolution 55(4): 807-820 [Date published 14 May 2001] (as A. argentea throughout the paper "To avoid confusion with previous literature")

Hidaka, K., Iwatsuki, Y. & Randall, J.E. 2008. A review of the Indo-Pacific bonefishes of the Albula argentea complex, with a description of a new species. Ichthyological Research 55: 53-64

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50 [16] (as A. forsteri)

Kottelat, M. 2013. The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 27: 1-663

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. [346] (as A. neoguinaica)

McCulloch, A.R. 1929. A check-list of the fishes recorded from Australia. Part I. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 5: 1–144 [35] (as A. forsteri)

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] [22] (149, as A. vulpes, but confirmation need, record may have been based on A. oligolepis)

Paxton, J.R., Gates, J.E., Bray, D.J. & Hoese, D.F. 2006. Albulidae. pp. 226-227 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [227] (as A. forsteri in part)

Paxton, J.R., Hoese, D.F., Allen, G.R. & Hanley, J.E. (eds) 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Pisces: Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 7 665 pp. [106] (as A. neoguinaica, in part)

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. [32] (requires confirmation)

Randall, J.E. & Bauchot, M.-L. 1999. Clarification of the two Indo-Pacific species of bonefishes, Albula glossodonta and A. forsteri. Cybium 23(1): 79-83 [81] (as A. forsteri)

Whitley, G.P. 1964. A survey of Australian Ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 89(1): 11-127 [34] (172, as A. neoguinaica)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
05-Mar-2019 ELOPOMORPHA 03-Oct-2018 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese (AM)
27-Jul-2016 08-Mar-2012 MODIFIED
26-Jul-2010 MODIFIED