Spotted Gelatinous Cusk, Barathronus maculatus Shcherbachev 1976

A Spotted Gelatinous Cusk, Barathronus maculatus, AMS I.24059-013, from off New South Wales. Source: Ken J. Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A reddish gelatinous cusk with a dark peritoneum and an irregular dark pattern along the side. The eyes are only externally visible in specimens less than ~14 cm, and appear as a narrow, dark ring surrounding paler tissue.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Barathronus maculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Jul 2020,

Spotted Gelatinous Cusk, Barathronus maculatus Shcherbachev 1976

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East of  Port Stephens to east of Nowra, New South Wales, and north of the Dampier Archipelago to southwest of Imperieuse Reef, Western Australia, in depths of 500-1150 m. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west Pacific: South Africa to Japan and the Philippines.


Dorsal fin 75-83; Anal fin 55-66, Vertebrae 74-79.
Vomer with up to 4 fangs and dentary with up to 5 fangs. Length of penis up to 10 % SL; it is proximally covered by a large dorsal clasper and a smaller ventral clasper protected ventrally by a well-developed fleshy hood. In specimens longer than about 140 mm SL the eyes are not externally visible while the eyes of smaller specimens appear as a narrow, dark ring surrounding lighter tissue.


Taken as bycatch in commercial trawl fisheries working on the upper continental slope.

Species Citation

Barathronus maculatus Shcherbachev 1976, Voprosy Ikhtiologii 16(1): 162-165 1 fig. [in Russian; English translation J. Ichthyol. 16(1): 146–149] [164, fig. B]. Type locality: Off Maputo, Mozambique, western Indian Ocean, 26°41'S, 34°06'E, depth 1000 m.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Spotted Gelatinous Cusk, Barathronus maculatus Shcherbachev 1976


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 

Knudsen, S. 2015. Aphyonus gelatinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T57453548A60774385. Downloaded on 07 March 2019.

Nielsen, J.G. 1986. Family No. 99: Aphyonidae. pp. 356-357 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

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. & Machida, Y. 1985. Notes on Barathronus maculatus (Aphyonidae) with two records from off Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 32(1): 1-5.

Nielsen, J.G., Pogonoski, J.J. & Appleyard, S.A. 2019. Aphyonid-clade species of Australia (Teleostei, Bythitidae) with four species new to Australian waters and a new species of BarathronusZootaxa 4564(2): 554–572,

Shcherbachev, Y.N. 1976. New species of the family Aphyonidae (Pisces, Ophidiodea) from the Indian Ocean. Voprosy Ikhtiologii 16(1): 162-165 1 fig. [in Russian; English translation in Journal of Ichthyology 16(1): 146–149]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37228015

Biology:Live bearer

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:386-1525 m

Habitat:Benthopelagic, continental slope

Max Size:22.5 cm SL

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