Leatherjacket; Stars and Stripes
The stars and stripes leatherjacket is aptly named due to the arrangement of prominent lines on the head, and rows of spots along the body. A unique feature of this species is its pointed snout. Juveniles and adults are quite similar in colouration, although horizontal bands gradually turn to spots as they mature. This species grows to a maximum length of 21 centimetres.
Being a member of the Meuschenia genus, the stars and stripes leatherjacket are a shallow reef dwelling species, however they are also commonly encountered in deep coastal and offshore reefs in depths over 20 metres. Stars and stripes leatherjackets are widely distributed throughout southern Australia from Shark Bay, WA to Sydney, NSW.
Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty
The stars and stripes leatherjacket can be observed as individuals or in small schools around the underwater observatory from autumn through to spring.