Red Coffinfish, Chaunax russatus Ho, Roberts & Stewart 2013

Holotype of the Red Coffinfish, Chaunax russatus, NMNZ P.038059, fro the Kaikoura Canyon, New Zealand, depth 821-1030 m. Source: Robin McPhee, Fig. 11A, in Ho et al. (2013) Zootaxa 3620(1): 89-111. License: All rights reserved

A deep red coffinfish with creamy white to fuzzy greyish spots or patches on the dorsal surface, and a very wide illicial trough that is usually as wide or wider than the pupil diameter.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Chaunax russatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Red Coffinfish, Chaunax russatus Ho, Roberts & Stewart 2013

More Info


W of Geraldton to SW of Albany, Western Australia, the Tasman Sea, and the Lord Howe Rise, Wanganella Bank on the West Norfolk Ridge, and south to the Cascade Plateau. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific: South Africa, Mozambique, and New Zealand.
Inhabits continental slopes, seamounts, ridges and rises.


Bright red with scattered patches of darker pigment; lateral cirri bright red; inner part of mouth cavity and gill chamber including gill arches blackish.

Similar Species

The Red Coffinfish is most similar to Chaunax mulleus, having similar lateral line neuromast counts and squamation, with overlapping proportions. C. russatus differs from C. mulleus in having a very large illicial trough that is usually wider than the diameter of the eye pupil (vs. narrower), a uniformly deep red colour (vs. pinkish with red tips of the pectoral and pelvic fins) and a naked area in front of the illicial trough (vs. a narrow band of dermal spinules).


The specific name is from the Latin russatus (= clothed in red), in reference to the uniform bright red colour of the body and fins.

Species Citation

Chaunax russatus Ho, Roberts & Stewart 2013, Zootaxa 3620(1): 105, Figs. 11A-B, 12A-B. Type locality: Kaikoura Canyon, 43°0.09'S, 173°53.85'E, New Zealand area, 821-1030 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Red Coffinfish, Chaunax russatus Ho, Roberts & Stewart 2013


Duffy, C.A.J. & Ahyong, S.T. 2015. Annotated checklist of the marine flora and fauna of the Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve and northern Kermadec Ridge, New Zealand. in Trnski, T. & Schlumpf, H.A. (eds) Kermadec Biodiversity Expedition 2011. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum 60: 19-124.

Ho, H.-C. 2015. 114 Family Chaunacidae, pp. 888-895 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152.

Ho, H. 2020. Chaunax russatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T139929006A140322606. Downloaded on 09 December 2020.

Ho, H.-C. & Last, P.R. 2013.  Two new species of the coffinfish genus Chaunax (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae) from the Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 3710(5): 436-448.

Ho, H.-C. & Ma, W.-C. 2016. Revision of southern African species of the anglerfish genus Chaunax (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae), with description of three new species. Zootaxa 4144(2): 175-194.

Ho, H.-C., Roberts, C.D. & Stewart, A.L. 2013. A review of the anglerfish genus Chaunax (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae) from New Zealand and adjacent waters, with descriptions of four new species. Zootaxa 3620(1): 89-111.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37211014

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth: 512–1200 m

Habitat:Continental slope

Max Size:24.5 cm SL

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