Legless Tubeshoulder, Platytroctes apus Günther 1878

Other Names: Legless Searsid

A Legless Tubeshoulder, Platytroctes apus, from seamounts in the Tasman Sea. Source: Robin McPhee & Mark McGrouther / NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

A deep-bodied dark brown tubeshoulder with a black opercular region, shoulder luminous organ, and anus, tiny pectoral fins, and luminous glands along the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the caudal peduncle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Platytroctes apus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Mar 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/3963

Legless Tubeshoulder, Platytroctes apus Günther 1878

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Northwest of Port Hedland, Western Australia, and on the Norfolk Ridge, north and south of Norfolk Island. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical to temperate waters.


Dorsal fin 20; Anal fin 17. 
Body highly compressed, flabby, leaf-like in appearance; upper and lower edges of caudal peduncle fringed by black luminous tissue; pectoral fin tiny.

Species Citation

Platytroctes apus Günther 1878, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 5 2(2, 22, 28): 249. Type locality: Atlantic Ocean [01°N, 26°W].depth 1500 fathoms


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Legless Tubeshoulder, Platytroctes apus Günther 1878


Günther, A. 1878. Preliminary notices of deep-sea fishes collected during the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 5 2(2, 22, 28): 17-28, 179-187, 248-251 

Günther, A. 1887. Report on the deep-sea fishes collected by H.M.S Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 22(57): 1-268 figs 1-7 pls 1-66

Iwamoto, T. 2015. Platytroctes apus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T190217A21908841. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T190217A21908841.en. Downloaded on 16 July 2017.

Hartel, K.E., Kenaley, C.P., Galbraith, J.K. & Sutton, T.T. 2008. Additional records of deep-sea fishes from off the greater New England. Northeastern Naturalist 15(3): 317-334.

Matsui, T. & Rosenblatt, R.H. 1987. Review of the deep-sea fish family Platytroctidae (Pisces: Salmoniformes). Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography 26: 1-159.

Pakhorukov, N.P. 1999. Underwater observations on deepwater fish of the Atlantic ocean in the region of the Sierra Leone rise. Journal of Ichthyology 39(8): 626–633.

Parr, A.E. 1960. The fishes of the family Searsidae. Dana Reports 51: 1-109 figs 1-73 

Quéro, J.-C., Matsui, T., Rosenblatt, R.H. & Sazonov, Yu.I. 1984. Searsiidae, pp. 256-267. In: Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielsen, J. & Tortonese, E. (eds) 1984. Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Paris : UNESCO Vol. 1 510 pp. figs.

Sazonov, Yu.I. 1986: Morphology and classification of the fishes of the family Platytroctidae (Salmoniformes, Alepocephaloidei). Tr. Inst Okeanol. Akad. Nauk SSSR 121: 51-96. (in Russian with English summary)

Sazonov, Yu.I. 1996. Morphology and significance of the luminous organs in alepocephaloid fishes, pp. 151-163. In: Uiblein, F., Ott, J., Stachowitsch, M. (eds) Deep-sea and extreme shallow-water habitats: affinities and adaptations. Biosystematics and Ecology Series 11 PDF

Sazonov, Y.I. 1999. Family Platytroctidae. pp. 1894-1895 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.

Williams, A. & Stewart, A.L. 2015. Family Platytroctidae. pp. 346-353 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37115004


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:385-5393m (usually 1000-2000m)

Habitat:Mesopelagic, bathypelagic

Max Size:18 cm SL

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