Benham's Streamerfish, Agrostichthys parkeri (Benham 1904)

Other Names: Benham's Streamer-fish, Ribbonfish, Streamer Fish

Benham's Streamerfish, Agrostichthys parkeri, washed ashore at Rarangi, New Zealand, December 2019. Source: Mark Anderson / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A rare very silver streamerfish with a very slender ribbon-like body, a rose-coloured dorsal fin, large eyes, a protruding mouth and long filamentous anterior dorsal-fin rays.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Agrostichthys parkeri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Jun 2023,

Benham's Streamerfish, Agrostichthys parkeri (Benham 1904)

More Info


Tasmania, from Ulverstone in the north, around the east coast to the Pedra Branca Seamount. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal, mostly in southern waters. These rare mesopelagic fishes are found in temperate and cold-temperate waters, at depths of 500-1000 m, with juveniles occurring in the upper 200 m.


Dorsal fin II-VII + 400+, first 1-3 spines elongate; Pectoral fin 8-11; Pelvic fin 2 in juveniles, rays absent in adults; Caudal fin 2; Gill rakers (first arch) 6-9; Vertebrae 169–180. 
Head shallow, snout gently sloping; mouth small, vertical, very protrusible, without visible teeth; premaxilla extending forward along dorsal profile of head; maxillary oval, large, axis of maxilla oblique; opercular bones well-developed. 
Skin studded with numerous hard tubercles; lateral line comprising a chain of oblong plates forming a continuous tube along side.
Dorsal fin long, extending from above rear half of eye to caudal-fin base; anal fin absent; pectoral fins small, immediately behind operculum; pelvic fins of juveniles with two rays, first ray thick, spiny, second ray rudimentary, located behind pectoral fins; adults with two very low ridges, that are flush with the body, fin rays absent; caudal fin with two rays, each with spines along entire length.


The species is named for Benham’s predecessor, zoologist Thomas Jeffery Parker of the University of Otago, New Zealand: "I propose the name R. parkeri, in memory of my predecessor, who made a careful study of the anatomy of R. glesne."

Species Citation

Regalecus parkeri Benham 1904, Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 26(23): 198, pl. 9. Type locality: washed ashore in Deborah Bay, Otago, New Zealand; Stewart Island, New Zealand.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Benham's Streamerfish, Agrostichthys parkeri (Benham 1904)


Benham, W.B. 1904. An apparently new species of Regalecus (R. parkeri). Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 26(23): 198-200

Evseenko, S.A. & Bol’shakova, Y.Y. 2014. First finding of a juvenile of the streamer fish Agrostichthys parkeri (Regalecidae) near the Walvis Ridge (Southern Atlantic). Journal of Ichthyology 54(8): 608-610.

Heemstra, P.C. 1986. Family no. 222: Regalecidae, p. 403, in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. See ref at BHL

McDowall, R.M. & Stewart, A.L. 1999. Further specimens of Agrostichthys parkeri (Teleostei: Regalecidae), with natural history notes. pp. 165-174 in Séret, B. & Sire, J.-Y. (eds). Proceedings of the 5th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (Nouméa, 3–8 November, 1997), Paris. Paris : Society Française d’Ichthyologie and Institut de Rechereche pour Dévelopment.

Moore, J. 2019. Agrostichthys parkeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T123375793A123376518. Accessed on 25 March 2022.

Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172 [published as separates 1956–1961]

Pequeño, G. 2011. Primer registro de Agrostichthys parkeri en el Océano Pacífico suroriental (Osteichthyes: Regalecidae). Revista de biología marina y oceanografía 46: 85-88. (in Spanish)

Phillipps, W.J. 1924. Agrostichthys, a new genus of ribbon fishes. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1924(1): 539-540 figs 1-2 

Scott, E.O.G. 1934. Observations on Tasmanian fishes with descriptions of new species. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1933: 31-53 figs 1-2 pls 6-8 (described as Agrostichthys benhami, type locality Ulverstone, Tasmania). See ref online

Stewart, A.L. 2015. Families Veliferidae, Lampridae, Lophotidae, Trachipteridae, Regalecidae. pp. 682-697 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

Sutton, T.T., Hulley, P.A., Wienerroither, R., Zaera-Perez, D. & Paxton, J.R. 2020. Identification guide to the mesopelagic fishes of the Central and South East Atlantic Ocean. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome: i-xvi + 1-327.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37272003

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:500-1000 m

Habitat:Mesopelagic, epipelagic, oceanic

Max Size:300 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map