Krefft's Whipnose, Gigantactis kreffti Bertelsen, Pietsch & Lavenberg 1981

Krefft's Whipnose, Gigantactis kreffti. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Females have an elongate body and caudal peduncle, a relatively short the illicium (less than 120% SL), a relatively spiny pear shaped esca bearing short filaments distally (spines absent distally and filaments absent proximally), upper jaw teeth in a single series with few teeth laterally, long teeth in 4-5 longitudinal posterior series in the lower jaw, and a relatively short caudal fin well-covered in skin (caudal-fin rays less than 30% SL).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Gigantactis kreffti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Krefft's Whipnose, Gigantactis kreffti Bertelsen, Pietsch & Lavenberg 1981

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South of Tasmania. Elsewhere the species is known from South Africa and Japan.


Dorsal fin 7; Anal fin 6; Pectoral fin 16-18; Jaw teeth, upper 7-44, lower 13-47. 
Metamorphosed females elongate, caudal peduncle elongate. Illicium without filaments, proximal portion slightly compressed, length of illicium less than 120% SL; spinules on illicium and esca, extending on escal bulb to base of distal prolongation, absent on posteromedial surface; small papillae on esca and illicium just below esca. Escal bulb roughly pear-shaped, more spherical in juveniles, with short, pale distal prolongation; prolongation with spinules at base and several short, pale digitiform filaments on lateral margins, tips of these red in life in holotype, filaments increase in number and relative length with size; escal papillae absent; posteromedial papilla present at base of escal bulb and second papilla on illicium below bulb; proximal escal filaments absent. 
Upper jaw teeth in single series, with few teeth laterally; lower jaw teeth relatively long (longest 2.6-5.2% SL) in 4-5 longitudinal series. 
Caudal-fin rays less than 30% SL.


The species is named for Gerhard Krefft of the Institut für Seefischereei, Hamburg, whose "interest and energy have established an important ichthyological resource that has immensely expanded our knowledge of the deep-sea fauna."

Species Citation

Gigantactis kreffti Bertelsen, Pietsch & Lavenberg 1981, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Contributions in Science 332: 29, figs. 4D, 27-29. Type locality: Southeastern Atlantic, 39°19'S, 3°15'W, Walther Herwig station 406/71, depth 0-2000 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Krefft's Whipnose, Gigantactis kreffti Bertelsen, Pietsch & Lavenberg 1981


Anderson, M.E. & Leslie, R.W. 2001. Review of the deep-sea anglerfishes (Lophiiformes: Ceratioidei) of southern Africa. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute, Grahamstown 70: 1-32

Bertelsen, E., Pietsch, T.W. & Lavenberg, R.J. 1981. Ceratioid anglerfishes of the family Gigantactinidae: morphology, systematics and distribution. Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Contributions in Science 332(6): 1-74 figs 1-69 See ref at BHL

Carpenter, K.E., Robertson, R., Rivera Higueras, M. & Matson, C. 2019. Gigantactis kreffti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T140026489A140322898. Accessed on 28 November 2022.

Pietsch, T.W. 2009. Oceanic Anglerfishes. Extraordinary Diversity in the Deep Sea. Berkeley and Los Angeles : University of California Press pp. i-xii + 1-557. 

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37217004

Biology:Bioluminescent (females)

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:550-2000 m


Max Size:34.5 cm SL

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