Genus Parabrotula

Very small, rare deepwater pelagic fishes that produce live young. Although relationships of the family are uncertain and some authors placed it near the Family Zoarcidae. Based on molecular analyses, Campbell et al. (2017) placed the genus in the family Bythitidae.
Species in the genus Parabrotula have eel-like, laterally compressed bodies posteriorly; head small, mouth small, lower jaw protruding beyond upper, teeth in jaws present or absent. Dorsal and anal fins similar, continuous with caudal fin; dorsal-fin origin about midbody, well behind origin of small pectoral fins; anal-fin origin somewhat posterior, behind anus; pelvic fins absent. Scales absent, skin smooth, loose, lateral line with minute papillae, sensory pores absent from head. Males and females with copulatory organs.
Author: Bray, D.J. 2017

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Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Parabrotula in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,


Anderson, M.E. 1986. Order Zoarciformes, pp. 342-343 In Smith, M.M. & P.C. Heemstra (eds). Smiths's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : MacMillan South Africa. 1047 pp.

Campbell, M.A., Nielsen, J.G., Sado, T., Shinzato, C., Kanda, M., Satoh, T.P. & Miya, M. 2017. Evolutionary affinities of the unfathomable Parabrotulidae: Molecular data indicate placement of Parabrotula within the family Bythitidae, Ophidiiformes, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 109: 337-342, Abstract.

Miya, M. & J. Nielsen. 1991. A new species of the deep-sea fish genus Parabrotula (Parabrotulidae) from Sagami Bay with notes on its ecology. Jpn. J. Ichthyol. 38(1): 1-5.

Nielsen, J., J. Badcock & N.R. Merrett. 1990. New data elucidating the taxonomy and ecology of the Parabrotulidae (Pisces: Zoarcoidei). J. Fish Biol 37(3): 437-448.

Nielsen, J.G., D.M. Cohen, D.F. Markle & C.R. Robins. 1999. FAO species catalogue. Volume 18. Ophidiiform fishes of the world (Order Ophidiiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. No. 125, 178 pp. (placed in the family Parabrotulidae)