Gargoyle Cusk, Xyelacyba myersi Cohen 1961

A Gargoyle Cusk, Xyelacyba myersi, from off Aurora, Quezon, Philippine, May 2007. Source: Rodolfo B. Reyes / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


A rare pale deep-sea cusk with light brown fin margins, dark jaws, pelvic fins, mouth, gill cavities and peritoneum.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2014, Xyelacyba myersi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024,

Gargoyle Cusk, Xyelacyba myersi Cohen 1961

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Recorded from off North West Cape, Western Australia in 1100-1150m. Elsewhere in tropical and subtropical latitudes, although not recorded from the Eastern Pacific. The Gargoyle Cusk is a rare deep-sea benthopelagic species found in depths of 984-2500m worldwide.


Dorsal fin 7-89; Anal fin 70-74; Caudal fin 9; Pectoral fin 18-20.

Body strongly compressed, snout short, rounded, no spine on snout tip.


Whitish overall, margins of median fins light brown; jaws, pelvic fins, mouth and gill cavities deep brown; peritoneum and stomach deep brown.


Reproductive strategy unknown - presumably oviparous with pelagic eggs in a gelatinous mass - like other members of the family.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated
  • Species Citation

    Xyelacyba myersi Cohen, 1961, Copeia 1961(3): 289, fig. 1. Type locality: Gulf of Mexico [27°48´N, 88°45´W].


    Bray, D.J. 2014


    Australian Faunal Directory

    Gargoyle Cusk, Xyelacyba myersi Cohen 1961


    Cohen, D.M. 1961. A new genus and species of deepwater ophidioid fish from the Gulf of Mexico. Copeia 1961(3): 288-292.

    Cohen, D.M. & Nielsen, J.G. 1978. Guide to the identification of genera of the fish order Ophidiiformes with a tentative classification of the order. National Marine Fisheries Service (U.S.). Technical Report 417: 1-72 figs 1-103.

    Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Gates, J.E. & Bray, D.J. 2006. Ophidiidae. pp. 556-566 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp..

    Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50.

    Machida. Y. 1989. First record of the deep-sea fish Xyelacyba myersi (Ophidiidae, Ophidiiformes) from Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 36(1): 120-125.

    Nielsen, J.G., Cohen, D.M., Markle, D.F. & Robins, C.R. 1999. Ophidiiform Fishes of the World. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125 Vol. 18. 178 pp.

    Nielsen. J.G. 1999. Families Carapidae, Ophidiidae, Bythitidae, Aphionidae. pp. 1978-1985 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.

    Williams, A., Last, P.R., Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. 1996. Species composition and checklist of the demersal ichthyofauna of the continental slope off Western Australia (20–35º). Records of the Western Australian Museum 18: 135-155.

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37228062

    Depth:984-2500 m


    Max Size:57 cm TL

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