Ridgescale Whiptail, Macrourus carinatus (Günther 1878)

Other Names: Ridge Scaled Rattail

Ridgescale Whiptail, Macrourus carinatus. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale greyish-brown grenadier with an iridescent greenish sheen, abdominal area not dark, mouth lining greyish, gill cavity blackish, greyish-brown fins, and distinctive ridged scales. The dorsal fin of juveniles is dark with a white tip.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Macrourus carinatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Sep 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4370

Ridgescale Whiptail, Macrourus carinatus (Günther 1878)

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Off Cape Sorell to south-west of King Island, Tasmania; also on the South Tasman Rise and at Macquarie Island and most likely off Heard and McDonald Islands. Elsewhere the species is southern circumglobal (largely subantarctic). McMillan et al. (2012) revised the genus and suggested that Macrourus carinatus may be the most commonly captured species in the genus in the southern hemisphere, and may have a more northerly range than the other three southern hemisphere Macrourus species.


Pelvic fin 7-9; Pyloric caeca 13–20.

Underside of head mostly scaled, scales absent from areas anterior to the rear angles of mouth and on anterior half of lower jaw. Lower jaw with 2–5 rows of small uniform-sized teeth reducing to a single row posteriorly. Upper jaw with 3–6 rows of teeth with outer row enlarged relative to those of inner rows. Body scales large, 19–25 in a diagonal row from anal fin origin to lateral line.


To at least 82 cm TL


Pale greyish-brown with a slight greenish iridescent sheen on sides of head and trunk; mouth lining greyish, gill cavity blackish; underside of head greyish-brown. Fins greyish-brown. Dorsal fin of juveniles white-tipped with a darker middle half.

Colour in preservative: Pale brownish overall.

Species Citation

Coryphaenoides carinatus Günther 1878, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 5 2(2, 22, 28): 28. Type locality: near Prince Edward Island, Challenger station 145A, 310 fathoms [567 m].


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Ridgescale Whiptail, Macrourus carinatus (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 1873–76. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H. M. S. Challenger 22(57): 1–268

Iwamoto, T. 1990. Family Macrouridae. pp. 90-318 in Cohen, D.M., Inada, T., Iwamoto, T. & Scialabba, N. FAO Species Catalogue. Gadiform fishes of the world (order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 10 442 pp.

Iwamoto, T. 1990. Macrouridae, pp. 192–206. In Gon, O. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Fishes of the Southern Ocean. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown.  

Iwamoto, T. & Anderson, M.E. 1994. Review of the grenadiers (Teleostei: Gadiformes) of southern Africa, with descriptions of four new species. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 61: 1–28.

McMillan, P.J. & Iwamoto, T. 2015. 103 Family Macrouridae (pp. 747-827), in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

McMillan, P., T. Iwamoto, A. Stewart & P.J. Smith. 2012. A new species of grenadier, genus Macrourus (Teleostei, Gadiformes, Macrouridae) from the southern hemisphere and a revision of the genus. Zootaxa 3165: 1–24 PDF Open access

Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. 1995. Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesberg : Macmillan South Africa 3rd Impression, i-xxxi + 1047 pp., 144 pls.

Smith, P.J., Steinke, D., McMillan, P.J., Stewart, A.L., McVeagh, S.M., Diaz de Astarloa, J.M., Welsford, D. & Ward, R.D. 2011. DNA barcoding highlights a cryptic species of grenadier Macrourus in the Southern Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology 78: 355–365 

Trunov, I.A. & Konstantinov, V.V. 1986. Macrourus carinatus (Günther, 1878) and M. holotrachys Günther (Macrouridae) as separate species. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta, Akademiya Nauk SSSR 153: 125-135 [in Russian, English summary]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232036

Depth:300–1600 m


Max Size:To 100 cm TL

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