Genus Chauliodus


A genus of distinctive deep-sea fishes with huge fang-like teeth. The slender compressed body is covered with 5 rows of hexagonal areas each having one or more small photophores (areas interpreted as scales by some authors) and is encased in a gelatinous luminescent membrane.

Dorsal and ventral adipose fins present; dorsal fin with a short, distinctly elevated base well forward on back entirely in advance of pelvic fins, first ray greatly prolonged, nearly half body length in some and tipped with light organs; anal fin close to tail.

Each side of lower jaw with 5–9 fang-like teeth; 4 fang-like teeth on either side of the premaxillae, each tooth piercing the opposing jaw when the mouth is closed; very small chin barbel in young, reduced or absent in adults; pectoral fin of moderate size, close to gill opening; pelvic fin elongated, at or in front of mid-body.

The genus contains 6 species found worldwide at mesopelagic depths. Some species undergo a daily vertical migration (Kenaley et al. 2008). Additional information on Chauliodus can be found in Morrow (1961), Gibbs & Hurwitz (1967) and Parin & Novikova (1974).

Author: Dianne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon, Chauliodus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024,


Gibbs, R.H., Jr. 1986. Family No. 67: Stomiidae, Family No. 68: Chauliodontidae, Family No. 69: Astronesthidae, Family No. 72: Melanostomiidae. pp. 229-243 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.

Gibbs, R.H., Jr. & B.A. Hurwitz. 1967. Systematics and zoogeography of the stomiatoid fishes, Chauliodus pammelas and C. sloani, of the Indian Ocean. Copeia 1967(4): 798-805.
Harold, A.S. 1999. Families Gonostomatidae, Sternoptychidae, Phosichthyidae, Astronesthidae, Stomiidae, Chauliodontidae, Melanostomiidae, Idiacanthidae, Malacosteidae. pp. 1896-1917 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 1397-2068 pp.

Kenaley, C.P., Harold, A.S. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Stomiidae. pp. 240-254 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Morrow, J.E. 1961. Taxonomy of the deep sea fishes of the genus Chauliodus. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 125(9): 249-294 figs 1-10

Parin, N.V. & N.S. Novikova. 1974. Taxonomy of viperfishes (Chauliodontidae, Osteichthyes) and their distribution in the world ocean. Trudy Instituta Okeanologii Imeni P.P. Shirshova 96: 255-315. [In Russian, English summary.]

Paxton, J.R., J. E. Gates, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Stomiinae. pp. 440-442 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

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.

Robertson, E.M. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Families Stomiidae, Chauliodontidae, Astronesthidae, Melanostomiidae, Malacosteidae, Idiacanthidae. pp. 251-263 figs 225-235 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.