Brown Brotula, Cataetyx niki Cohen 1981

Brown Brotula, Cataetyx niki. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A very large robust cusk eel with a mottled dark brownish-black head and a dark brown body and fins, a broad depressed snout, and a strong spine present at the upper angle of the opercle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Cataetyx niki in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Dec 2023,

Brown Brotula, Cataetyx niki Cohen 1981

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Off Broken Bay, New South Wales, to south of Warrnambool, Victoria, and off Tasmania. Elsewhere the species has a discontinuous distribution in the temperate east Atlantic and west Pacific.


Dorsal fin 91-95; Anal fin 69-77; Pectoral fin 29-30; Vertebrae 54-56. 
Body stout, rounded; dorsal, anal and caudal fins continuous; snout depressed, about twice as broad as long; eye below the upper profile of the head; strong spine present at upper angle of opercle; no spine at rear nostril or pectoral-fin base.


This species is named for Dr. Nikolaii V. Parin.

Species Citation

Cataetyx niki Cohen 1981, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 94(4): 1096, fig. 7. Type locality: Eastern Atlantic, 35°04'S, 24°20'E, depth 1000 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Brown Brotula, Cataetyx niki Cohen 1981


Cohen, D.M. 1981. New and rare ophidiiform fishes from the eastern Atlantic: Canary Islands to the Cape of Good Hope. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 94(4): 1085-1103 figs 1-7 See ref at BHL

Cohen D. M. 1986. Family No. 98: Bythitidae. pp. 354-356 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. See ref at BHL

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Bythitidae. pp. 356-359 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

McMillan, P.J., Francis, M.P., Paul, L.J., et al. 2011. New Zealand fishes. Volume 2: A field guide to less common species caught by bottom and midwater fishing. New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report No.78, 184 pp.

Møller, P.R., Knudsen, W., Schwarzhans, W. & Nielsen, J.G. 2016. A new classification of viviparous brotulas (Bythitidae) – with family status for Dinematichthyidae – based on molecular, morphological and fossil data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 100: 391-408

Møller, P.R. & Nielsen, J.G. 2015. 98 Family Bythitidae. pp. 720-735, in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

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. 

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279

Prokofiev, A.M. 2005. On some rare ophidiiform fishes from the South Atlantic and Indo - West Pacific, with erection of a new genus, Megacataetyx gen. novum (Teleostei: Ophidiiformes). Estestvennye i Tekhnicheskie Nauki [Natural and Technical Sciences] 2: 111-128. (as Megacataetyx niki)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37228018

Depth: 830-1200 m

Max Size:64 cm TL

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