Antipodean Spiderfish, Bathypterois oddi Sulak 1977

Other Names: Underworld Feelerfish

An Antipodean Spiderfish, Bathypterois oddi, from a depth of 4000 metres on the abyssal plain east of Newcastle, New South Wales. Source: John Pogonoski / Australlian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: All rights reserved

A dark relatively robust spiderfish with two extremely long pectoral-fin rays, elongate pelvic fins with a very long first ray, and a long lower caudal-fin lobe with an elongated lower fin ray. The Antipodean Spiderfish has deciduous scales and lacks a distinctive sub-caudal notch.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Bathypterois oddi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 May 2018,

Antipodean Spiderfish, Bathypterois oddi Sulak 1977

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Known from off southern Queensland, to the Great Australian Bight, South Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand and on the sub-antarctic Crozet Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean.


Dorsal fin 14; Anal fin 10-11; Pectoral fin 16 (8 rays in lower portion); Pelvic fin 8; Lateral line scales 60-62; Branchiostegal rays 12; Gill rakers 41 (12+29); Vertebrae 57-58.
Body slender; head moderate in length, 23-26% SL; lower jaw with medium-sized lateral pores; gular area unscaled; gill rakers bladelike. Scales deciduous.
Pectoral fins in separate upper and lower parts; 2 uppermost rays vestigial at  base; rays 3 & 4 extremely elongate, about equal in length to SL, united to a point midway between the adipose fin and the caudal fin base; 5th ray immediately below & connected by membrane, much shorter; lower portion with 8-9 regular rays. Pelvic fins very elongate, longest ray 42-58% SL, base just before dorsal-fin base. Lower caudal-fin lobe much longer than upper, longest lower ray 38-46% SL; subcaudal notch absent. Adipose fin well developed.



All spiderfishes (family Ipnopidae) are synchronous hermaphrodites. They have an ovotestis that contains both male and female reproductive tissue. 


The species is named oddi in honour of the legendary Icelandic hero of Bandamanna Saga, Odd, a symbol of good fortune and of the Scandinavian seafaring spirit.

Species Citation

Bathypterois (Bathycygnus) oddi Sulak 1977, Galathea Report 14: 99, Pl. 6 (fig. 3). Type locality: Western Pacific, 45°51'S, 164°32'E, Galathea station 601, depth 4400 metres.


Bray, D.J. 2018

Antipodean Spiderfish, Bathypterois oddi Sulak 1977


Cousins, N.J. & Priede, I.G. 2012. Abyssla demersal fish fauna composition in two contrasting productivity regions of the Crozet Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 64:71-77. Open access

Gomon, M. F.  2015. 80 Family Ipnopidae (pp. 562-565), in: Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Paxton, J.R. 2010. Bathypterois oddi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154727A4619279. Downloaded on 31 May 2017.

Sulak, K.J. 1977. The systematics and biology of Bathypterois (Pisces, Chlorophthalmidae) with a revised classification of benthic myctophiform fishes. Galathea Report 14: 49-108, Pls. 1-7. PDF available, open access

Sulak, K.J. & Shcherbachev, Yu.N. 1988. A new species of tripodfish, Bathypterois (Bathycygnus) andriashevi (Chlorophthalmidae), from the western South Pacific Ocean. Copeia 1988(3): 653-659.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37123013

Biology:Synchronous hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:3400-5000 m


Max Size:23 cm SL

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