Bigeye Greeneye, Chlorophthalmus pectoralis Okamura & Doi 1984

A Bigeye Greeneye, Chlorophthalmus pectoralis, AMS I.26343-001, from off Sydney, New South Wales, depth ~500 m. Source: Ken J. Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: All rights reserved

A brown to grey greeneye becoming paler below, with silvery sides, several darker brown round to oblique band-like markings along the side, a darkish abdomen and a black region around the anus. The species has fine dark diagonal lines and darker dots outlining the scale rows, black inner margins on the pelvic fins. 
In Australia, this species was previously recorded as Chlorophthalmus agassizi.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chlorophthalmus pectoralis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Bigeye Greeneye, Chlorophthalmus pectoralis Okamura & Doi 1984

More Info


Off north Western Australia, and off Queensland to southern New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the west Pacific: Brunei to the Solomon Islands, north to China, Taiwan and Japan, south to Australia, New Caledonia, northern New Zealand.


Dorsal fin 11; Anal fin 8-9; Pectoral fin 16; Gill rakers 2-3 + 18-19; Lateral-line scales 51-53; Scales rows above lateral line 7.5; Vertebrae 49-50.
Body compressed, depth 12-19% SL; head small, length 27-32.6% SL; eye large, diameter about 37-41% HL. Tip of lower jaw jutting slightly forward of upper jaw, exposed tip with narrow, naked bony tab, and antero-lateral splayed row of enlarged curved teeth on margin, and row of smaller teeth posteriorly.Pectoral fins of moderate length, ~22-29% SL.


Greeneyes are synchronous hermaphrodites, and are bioluminescent, with a ventral light organ.


The specific name is from the Latin pectoralis (= of the breast) in reference to the relatively long pectoral fins of this species, which almost equal the head length.

Species Citation

Chlorophthalmus pectoralis Okamura & Doi 1984, Fishes of the Okinawa Trench and Adjacent Waters: 173, pl. 120. Type locality: off Cape Ashizuri, Tosa Bay, Japan depth about 350 m.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Bigeye Greeneye, Chlorophthalmus pectoralis Okamura & Doi 1984


Fricke, R. & Durville, P. 2020. Chlorophthalmus vulcanus, a new species of greeneye from La Réunion, southwestern Indian Ocean (Teleostei: Chlorophthalmidae). FishTaxa 17: 1-11. See ref online

Gomon, M.F. 2015. Families Chlorophthalmidae, Bathysauropsidae. pp. 547-552 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Gomon, M. F., Ward, R.D., Chapple, S. & Hale, J.M. 2014. The use of DNA barcode evidence for inferring species of Chlorophthalmus (Aulopiformes, Chlorophthalmidae) in the Indo-West Pacific. Marine and Freshwater Research 65: 1027–1034

Maunde, C., Holleman, W., Fennessy, S. & Russell, B. 2020. Chlorophthalmus pectoralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123322193A123322337. Downloaded on 19 October 2020.

Okamura, O. & Doi, M. 1984. 120. Chlorophthalmus pectoralis Okamura et Doi, sp. nov. pp. 173-175 in Okamura, O. & Kitajima, T. (eds). Fishes of the Okinawa Trench and Adjacent Waters. Vol. I. The intensive research of unexploited fishery resources on continental slopes. Tokyo : Japan Fisheries Resource Conservation Association 414 pp. 8 figs 205 pls.

Paxton, J.R. & Niem, V.H. 1999. Families Aulopidae, Chlorophthalmidae, Ipnopidae, Scopelarchidae, Notosudidae. pp. 1919-1927 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 pp. 1397-2068.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37120002

Biology:Bioluminescent, hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:220-780 m

Habitat:Continental Slope

Max Size:15 cm SL

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