Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey 1873


Other Names: Deepscale Dory

A Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus, swimming above Lophelia pertusa on the West Florida Slope, Atlantic Ocean, 2017, depth 496m. Source: SEDCI-supported expedition aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster . License: Public Domain

Summary:

Silvery deep-sea fishes with highly compressed bodies covered in vertically-elongated scales. Thorny tinselfishes have tiny mouths, enlarged spiny scales along the dorsal and anal-fin bases, and several large spiny scutes on the sides that disappear with growth.

Juveniles are deeper-bodied than adults, and have enlarged, horizontally flattened bony scutes, and a very long branched filament trailing from the first anal-fin spine.

Check out the video in the Species Image Gallery on the right.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Grammicolepis brachiusculus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3594

Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey 1873

More Info


Distribution

Off the Clarence River, New South Wales, to off northwest Tasmania, and off the Houtman Abrolhos to north of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia; also off Lord Howe Island and elsewhere on the Lord Howe Rise, and on the Norfolk Ridge. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical and temperate waters except for the Eastern Pacific. 

Thorny tinselfishes are benthopelagic around seamounts, ridges and rises. Worldwide, they have been recorded from depths of 300-1025 m. In Australian waters, they are known from depths of 350-865 m.

Features

Dorsal fin VI-VII, 32-34; Anal fin II, 33-35; Caudal fin 13 + 2; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I, 6; Gill rakers 14-15 (rudimentary).

Body deep, very compressed; head small, eye large, mouth tiny; body covered in vertically-elongate scales, and large spiny scales along bases of the dorsal and anal fins. Juveniles and subadults have large, horizontally flattened scutes on the body sides - scutes become relatively smaller and less obvious with growth.

Size

To 64 cm total length

Colour

Juveniles: body silver, or bluish- to purplish-silver with irregular dark blotches on the body and caudal fin; 5 black bars on the anal fin; spiny scutes dark.

Adults: dull silver to silvery-blue or purple, with indistinct darker and/or lighter markings on the body and caudal fin; iris golden.

Feeding

Carnivore - feeds on small deep-sea crustaceans.

Biology

Very little is known of the biology of this species.

Fisheries

Of no interest to fisheries, although the species is taken as by-catch in commercial trawls, lines and deep gill nets.

Conservation

  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Similar Species

    Differs from the Spotted Tinselfish, Xenolepidichthys dalgleishi, in having large spiny or thorny scutes scattered on the sides (scutes are reduced and low in adults), and fewer dorsal-fin spines (32-35 vs 39-41).

    Etymology


    Species Citation

    Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey, 1873, Anal. Socied. Españ. Hist. Nat. 2: 403. Type locality: Havana, Cuba.

    Author

    Bray, D.J. 2018

    Resources

    Australian Faunal Directory

    Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey 1873

    References


  • Barreiros, J.P., L.F. Machado, R.P. Vieira & F.M. Porteiro. 2011. Occurrence of Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey, 1873 (Pisces: Grammicolepididae) in the Azores Archipelago. Life and Marine Sciences 28: 83-88.
  • Bray, D.J. & Roberts, C.D. 2015. 143 Family Grammicolepididae, pp. 1029-1032, in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.
  • Grande, T.C, Borden, W.C., Wilson, M.V.H. & Scarpitta, L. 2018. Phylogenetic relationships among fishes in the Order Zeiformes based on molecular and morphological data. Copeia 106(1):20-48. 2018 https://doi.org/10.1643/CG-17-594
  • Heemstra, P.C. 1999. Grammicolephididae. Tinselfishes (p. 2260). In E. Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome.
  • Iwamoto, T. 2015. Grammicolepis brachiusculus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T18257696A21942617. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T18257696A21942617.en. Downloaded on 25 July 2018.
  • Jordan, D.S. 1921. Description of deep-sea fishes from the coast of Hawaii, killed by a lava flow from Mauna Loa. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 59(2392): 643-656. See ref. at BHL
  • Karrer, C. 1990. Family Grammicolepididae. pp. 634-636 in Quéro, J.-C., Hureau, J.-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds). Check-list of the Fishes of the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Paris : UNESCO 1492 pp., 3 vols.
  • Karrer, C. & P.C. Heemstra. 1986. Grammicolepididae (pp. 440-441). In Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra (eds) Smiths' sea fishes. MacMillan, South Africa.
  • Nichols, J.T. & Firth, F.E. 1939. Rare fishes off the Atlantic coast including a new grammicolepid. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 52: 85-88 fig. 1 [as Xenolepidichtys americanus] See ref. at BHL
  • Poey, F. 1873. Grammicolepis brachiusculus, tipo de una nueva familia en la clase de los peces. Anales de la Sociedad Española de Historia Natural 2: 403-406.
  • Smith, J.L.B. 1960. A new grammicolepid fish from South Africa. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 13 3(28): 231-235 figs 3-4 [as Daramattus armatus]
  • Tyler, J.C., O’Toole, B. & Winterbottom, R.W. 2003. Phylogeny of the genera and families of zeiform fishes, with comments on their relationships with tetraodontiforms and caproids. Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 618: 1–110.
  • Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37265001

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:300-1025 m

    Habitat:Deep-sea, benthopelagic

    Max weight:64 cm TL

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