Spinycheek Seabass, Ostracoberyx paxtoni Quéro & Ozouf-Costaz 1991

Spinycheek Seabass, Ostracoberyx paxtoni. Source: Ken Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: All rights reserved

Unusual deep-sea fishes with rough exposed bones encasing the head, a very strong sharp spine at the lower angle of the gill cover, robust fin spines, small rough embedded scales, and two dorsal fins. Juveniles have a recurved (curved forward) spine on top of the rear of the head.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Ostracoberyx paxtoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Nov 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/1692

Spinycheek Seabass, Ostracoberyx paxtoni Quéro & Ozouf-Costaz 1991

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Recorded from off Coolangatta, Queensland, to SSE of Gabo Island, Victoria; also off Balls Pyramid in the Lord Howe Island region. The Spinycheek Seabass is benthopelagic on the continental slope in 220-512 metres.


Dorsal fin IX, 9-10; Anal fin III, 7: Pectoral fin 14-16; Gill rakers (lower limb first arch) 9-12 developed rakers; Lateral line scales 48-58; 11-12 (rarely 10) scales in an oblique row, between the origin of the dorsal fin and the lateral line; 23-30 scales in an oblique row, between the lateral line and origin of the anal fin. 
Body depth 43-51% SL. Juveniles (80-100 mm SL) have a recurved (bent forward) supraoccipital spine and an interorbital space 21-27% HL.


To about 16 cm SL.


Silvery grey to silvery greyish-brown with a paler abdomen. In preservative: greyish-brown, paler below, with somewhat bluish gill and branchiostegal membranes.






Similar Species


The species is named for John R. Paxton of the Australian Museum.

Species Citation

Ostracoberyx paxtoni Quéro & Ozouf-Costaz 1991, Cybium 15(1): 44, fig. 1. Type locality: off southern Queensland (28°06´S, 153°58´E), depth 410 m. 


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Spinycheek Seabass, Ostracoberyx paxtoni Quéro & Ozouf-Costaz 1991


Carpenter, K.E. 1999. Family Ostracoberycidae. pp. 2551-2552 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

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.

Quéro, J.-C. & Ozouf-Costaz, C. 1991. Ostracoberyx paxtoni, nouvelle espèce des côtes est de l'Australie, remarques sur les modifications morphologiques des Ostracoberyx au cours de leur croissance (Perciformes, Ostracoberycidae). Cybium 15(1): 43-54. PDF Open Access

Suntsov, A.V. 2007. A tentative Tholichthys stage in development of Ostracoberyx and its bearing on systematics of Ostracoberycidae. Journal of Ichthyology 47(7): 504-510. Abstract

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311161

Depth:220-512 m

Habitat:Benthopelagic, continental slope

Max Size:16 cm SL


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