Rosy Coffinfish, Chaunacops coloratus (Garman 1899)

Other Names: Red Coffinfish
Possibly Chaunacops coloratus photographed by an ROV on an unnamed seamount approx 50 miles west of Wake Island, Central Pacific, depth round 2,240 m

A Red Coffinfish, Chaunacops coloratus, from off southern Queensland, June 2017, depth 2500 m. Source: John Pogonoski / Australlian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A deep rosy to red coffinfish with a red shaggy lure, and sometimes tinted with blue to blackish pigment around the angles of the mouth and eyes. Individuals filmed by ROVs range in colour from pale pink to red, with small individuals appearing paler.
Fabulous footage of Chaunacops coloratus filmed by an ROV (remote operated vehicle) on Davidson Seamount— an extinct volcano off the coast of Central California, USA.
Video of Chaunacops coloratus filmed on the Barracuda Bank southeast of the British Virgin Islands, October 2013.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Chaunacops coloratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 Jan 2023,

Rosy Coffinfish, Chaunacops coloratus (Garman 1899)

More Info


Off southern Queensland, depth 2500 m. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Pacific Ocean: from the eastern Indian Ocean to the Marianas, Hawaii, and the eastern Pacific.
Inhabits highly rugose, rocky substrates on the Continental slope and rise.


Dorsal fin 11; Anal fin 5-6; Pectoral fin 11-12; Vertebrae 19.
A species of Chaunacops with the following characteristics: buccal cavity not black, dusky in young becoming pale with age; tail moderately long, appressed anal-fin rays reaching or nearly reaching posterior end of hypural plate.


Individuals are able to inflate their bodies, presumably to make themselves more globose and difficult to be preyed upon.

Similar Species

DNA sequences of tissue samples taken from the Australian specimen confirmed the identification as Chaunacops coloratus.


The specific name is from the Latin coloratus (= colored). The species was described as being a “deep rose” colour in life, “tinted with blue to blackish around the angles of the mouth and on the orbit around the eye”.

Species Citation

Chaunax coloratus Garman 1899, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool. 24: 83, Pls. C, 16, 17, 73 (figs. 1-2). Type locality: Pacific over Cocos Ridge, 5°43'N, 85°50'W, Albatross station 3363, depth 978 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Rosy Coffinfish, Chaunacops coloratus (Garman 1899)


Barbour, T. 1941. Notes on pediculate fishes. Proc. New Eng. Zool. Club 19: 7-14.

Caruso, J.H. 1989. Systematics and distribution of the Atlantic chaunacid anglerfishes (Pisces: Lophiiformes). Copeia 1989: 153-165. (as Bathychaunax coloratus

Caruso, J.H. 1989. A review of the Indo-Pacific members of the deep-water chaunacid anglerfish genus Bathychaunax, with the description of a new species from the eastern Indian Ocean (Pisces: Lophiiformes). Bulletin of Marine Science 45(3): 574-579. See ref online (as Bathychaunax coloratus)

Caruso, J.H., Ho, H.-C. & Pietsch, T.W. 2006. Chaunacops Garman, 1899, a senior objective synonym of Bathychaunax Caruso, 1989 (Lophiiformes: Chaunacoidei: Chaunacidae). Copeia 2006(1): 120-121.[0120:CGASOS]2.0.CO;2

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 24: 1-431 (as Chauanx coloratus). See ref at BHL

Ho, H.-C. & McGrouther, M. 2015. A new anglerfish from eastern Australia and New Caledonia (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae: Chaunacops), with new data and submersible observation of Chaunacops melanostomusJournal of Fish Biology 86(3): 940-951.

Long, N.P. & Farina, S.C. 2019. Enormous gill chambers of deep-sea coffinfishes (Lophiiformes: Chaunacidae) support unique ventilatory specialisations such as breath holding and extreme inflation. Journal of Fish Biology: 1–8.

Lundsten, L., Johnson, S.B., Cailliet, G.M., DeVogelaere, A.P. & Clague, D.A. 2012. Morphological, molecular, and in situ behavioral observations of the rare deep-sea anglerfish Chaunacops coloratus (Garman 1899), order Lophiiformes, in the eastern North Pacific. Deep-Sea Research I 68: 46–53

Roa-Varón, A. & Iwamoto, T. 2019. Chaunacops coloratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T139901305A140322832. Accessed on 16 August 2022.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37211013

Behaviour:1250-3297 m

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:Reef associated, bathydemersal

Max Size:19 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map