Story: Coastal fish



The leatherjacket (Parika scaber) is one of the most distinctive coastal fish around New Zealand. Its tough leathery skin, rigid body and retractable dorsal spine make it formidable to any predator. Its tough teeth and mouth are well suited to browsing sponges from rocks, but it will eat almost anything. Like the snapper, it even takes on the spine-covered sea urchin. The leatherjacket can swim either backwards or forwards using its dorsal and anal fins.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Coastal fish - Widespread fish of the rocky sea floor', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 October 2021)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006