Flathead Blindfish, Cataetyx chthamalorhynchus Cohen 1981

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

A rare pale brown cuskeel known from few specimens collected in depths around 1000 metres off southern Australia.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Cataetyx chthamalorhynchus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Apr 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5216

Flathead Blindfish, Cataetyx chthamalorhynchus Cohen 1981

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Known from the South Tasman Rise and off Portland (Victoria) and off Cape Martin (South Australia). Also in South Africa and New Zealand.


Dorsal fin 137-140; Anal fin 100-102; Pectoral fin 28; Pelvic fin 1; Caudal fin 10; Lateral line scales 175+.
Body moderately shallow (approx. 11-12% SL), elongate, compressed posteriorly, tapering to point. Head moderately small (approx. 21% SL), snout strongly depressed; eyes small (approx. 15-16% HL), directed dorsolaterally; mouth large (upper jaw length approx. 48-49% HL), horizontal, tip of maxillary falling just short of posterior margin of eye, expanded vertically; each jaw with broad band of granular teeth; lips and chin with pits and pores; anterior nostril in short tube at tip of snout; opercle with stout spine; gill membranes free from isthmus. 
Scales tiny, cycloid, covering most of body and head except tip of snout and underside of jaws. 
Dorsal and anal fins with elongate bases, broadly joined by membranes to caudal fin, the three being virtually inseparable; caudal fin pointed. Pelvic fins arising below and in front of pectoral-fin base, reaching one-fourth to one-third of way from origin to anus.


The specific name chthamalorhynchus is from the Greek chlamalos (low) and rhynchos (snout) in reference to the depressed snout of this species.


Bray, D.J. 2018

Flathead Blindfish, Cataetyx chthamalorhynchus Cohen 1981


Balushkin, A.V. & Prokofiev, A.M.  2005. A new species of the genus Cataetyx (Ophididiiformes: Bythitidae) from Heracles Banks (the South-Pacific Rise).  Journal of Ichthyology 45(7): 541-545.

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. PDF 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.

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. (as Cataetyx sp.)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37228019

Depth:885-1360 m

Habitat:Benthic, deep-sea

Max Size:50 cm TL

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