Slender Abyssal Cuskeel, Sciadonus pedicellaris Garman 1899

A female Slender Abyssal Cuskeel, Sciadonus pedicellaris, from off Newcastle, New South Wales, NMV A 31819-001, 116 mm SL. Source: CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection, FIG. 14, in Nielsen, Pogonoski & Appleyard (2019) Zootaxa 4564(2): 554-572. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A rare slender abyssal cuskeel with a pale body, small, deep-set black eyes, and the gut visible through the abdominal wall. In Australia, this species was previously referred to as Sciadonus galatheae, a junior synonym of S. pedicellaris (Nielsen 2018)

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Sciadonus pedicellaris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Aug 2020,

Slender Abyssal Cuskeel, Sciadonus pedicellaris Garman 1899

More Info


Off Southern Queensland to off Newcastle, New South Wales, and on the Lord Howe Rise in the Australian EEZ, at depths between 1130-4280 m. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the NE Atlantic, NE & SW Pacific (including New Zealand) at depths of 1169-5440 m. 


Dorsal fin 88-107; Anal fin 47-59; Pectoral fin 11-14; Pelvic fins absent.
Body slender, depth at anus 6-7% SL; lower jaw slightly protruding; eyes small black dots buried deep in skin; gill rakers on anterior gill arch short; dorsal-fin origin above pectoral-fin tips; anal-fin origin well behind midpoint of body; pectoral-fin base longer than broad; small, pointed teeth on premaxillaries, dentaries and a few on vomer; teeth absent from palatines.



Fertilisation is internal.

Similar Species

Sciadonus pedicellaris differs from the other species in the genus in having the following combination of characters: no distinct black spots dorsally and along the midbody; pelvic fin length 1.0–2.2 % SL; dorsal fin rays 90–107; precaudal vertebrae 43–49; origin of anal fin below dorsal fin rays 44–56.


The species is named pedicellaris in reference to the “pedicellate” or stalk-shaped pectoral fins.

Species Citation

Sciadonus pedicellaris Garman 1899, Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 24 1899:172, Pl. F (fig. 4). Type locality: Eastern Pacific, off Cocos Islands, 5°31'N, 86°31'W, Albatross station 3365, depth 1010 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2019

Slender Abyssal Cuskeel, Sciadonus pedicellaris Garman 1899


Garman, S. 1899. Reports on an exploration off the west coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and off the Galapagos Islands, in charge of Alexander Agassiz, by the U.S. Fish Commission Steamer Albatross, during 1891, Lieut. Commander Z.L. Tanner, U.S.N., commanding. 26. The fishes. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University 24: 1-431, 98 pls See ref at BHL

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. (as Sciadonus galatheae

Nielsen, J.G. 1969. Systematics and biology of the Aphyonidae (Pisces : Ophidioidea). Galathea Report 10: 1-90 figs 1-57 pls 1-4 (as Sciadonus galatheaePDF Open access

Nielsen. J.G. 1999. Families Carapidae, Ophidiidae, Bythitidae, Aphionidae. pp. 1978-1985 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. (as Sciadonus galatheae)

Nielsen, J.G. 2018. Revision of the cosmopolitan deep-sea genus Sciadonus (Teleostei, Bythitidae) with two new species. Cybium 42(2): 177-187. See ref online

Nielsen, J.G. & Møller, P.R. 2008. New and rare deep-sea ophidiiform fishes from the Solomon Sea caught by the Danish Galathea 3 Expedition. Steenstrupia 30(1): 21-46.(as Sciadonus galatheae)

Nielsen, J.G. & Møller, P.R. 2015. 99 Family Aphyonidae (pp. 736-738) 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. (as Sciadonus galatheae)

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,

Scharpf, C. & Lazara, K.J. 2018. Order OPHIDIIFORMES: Families BYTHITIDAE, DINEMATICHTHYIDAE and PARABROTULIDAE, in The ETYFish Project, accessed 18 March 2019

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37228123

Biology:Live bearer

Depth:1169-5440 m


Max Size:12.6 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map