Common name: Family Plectrogenidae

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PLECTROGENIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Aug 2020,

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Family Taxonomy

Little is known of the group, represented by one genus and two species, one of which is recorded from Australia. Has previously been placed as a subfamily within Sebastidae or Scorpaenidae, we have followed Hoese et al 2008 and retained the family Plectrogenidae as valid.

Family Distribution

Plectrogenium barsukovi is known only from the Nasca Ridge in the southeast Pacific, P. nanum is more widely distributed from central and western Pacific to the western Indian Ocean, including Australia's northeast and northwest coasts, occurs northward to Japan and southward to New Zealand. Demersal on the upper continental slope from around 270-600 m depth.

Family Description

Body elongate, bearing ctenoid scales; cycloid scales may be present anterior to pectoral fin base; spinous dorsal fin with XII rays; dorsal fin divided into two portions, with the tenth spine short, joined to the following spine by a low membrane; 7 soft dorsal fin rays; pectoral fin rays 18-24; anal fin with III spines and 5 soft rays.

Family Size

Small species reaching about 68 mm SL.

Family Feeding


Family Reproduction

Very little is known about the biology or reproduction of these fishes.

Family Commercial

May be caught incidentally in deepwater fisheries.


Eschmeyer, W.N. (2008) The Catalogue of Fishes on-line. (California Academy of Sciences: San Francisco) Available from: (12 June, 2008).

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Randall, J.E. (1975) The scorpaenid fishes of the Hawaiian Islands, including new species and new records (Pisces: Scorpaenidae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (Ser. 4) 40(11): 265-334.

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006) Fishes. In: P.L. Beesley & A. Wells (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 35. Parts 1-3. Australian Biological Resources Study and CSIRO Publishing, 2248 pp.

Mandrytsa, S.A.(1992) The new species and new records of fishes from the genera Phenacoscorpius and Plectrogenium in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Journal of Ichthyology 7: 100-109.

Paulin, C.D. (1982) Scorpionfishes of New Zealand (Pisces: Scorpaenidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 9: 437-450.