Genus Mesovagus

Mesovagus is a replacement name for the grenadier genus Mesobius, which is a junior homonym of Mesobius Chamberlin 1951 (Chilopoda: Lithobiomorpha: Lithobiidae). The earliest name has priority.
Mesovagus is derived from the Greek 'mesos' meaning middle and the Latin 'vagus' meaning a wanderer, in reference to the bathypelagic lifestyle of species in the genus.
Diagnosis (from Nakayama & Endo 2016) Head scales longitudinally elongate, each covered with 1–3 discrete rows of spinules, giving striated appearance to head surfaces. Head laterally compressed, entirely covered with scales (except for lips and gular and branchiostegal membranes). Head ridges poorly developed. No prominent tubercles or modified scales on snout. Chin barbel absent. Abdomen short, distance from isthmus to anal-fin origin 1.0–1.5 of orbit diameter in adults. Anus removed from anal-fin origin, surrounded by a broad periproct (black, naked skin): periproct abutting anal-fin origin or only slightly separated from it by a few scale rows. Light organ large, lying just anterior to rectum, but no prominent anterior extensions between pelvic-fin bases or on chest. Teeth small, in narrow band on each jaw, with none distinctly enlarged. Body scales covered with short, erect, needle-like spinules; buttresses of spinules poorly developed; no reticulate structure on scale surfaces. Second spinous ray of first dorsal fin serrated along its leading edge (serration often rudimentary). Gas bladder greatly reduced, with 2 retia and gas glands. Branchiostegal rays 7. Body mostly blackish in adults.
Author: Bray, D.J.

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Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J., Mesovagus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jun 2024,


Hubbs, C.L. & Iwamoto, T. 1977. A new genus (Mesobius), and three new bathypelagic species of Macrouridae (Pisces, Gadiformes) from the Pacific Ocean. Proc Calif Acad Sci 41: 233–251.

Iwamoto, T. & Graham, K.J. 2001. Grenadiers (families Bathygadidae and Macrouridae, Gadiformes, Pisces) of New South Wales, Australia. Proc Calif Acad Sci 52: 407–509.

Nakayama, N. & Endo, H. 2016. Mesovagus, a replacement name for the grenadier genus Mesobius Hubbs and Iwamoto 1977 (Actinopterygii: Gadiformes: Macrouridae), a junior homonym of Mesobius Chamberlin 1951 (Chilopoda: Lithobiomorpha: Lithobiidae). Ichthyological Research Online early DOI:10.1007/s10228-016-0531-x