Pink Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus drypus Ho & Last 2018

Holotype of the Pink Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus drypus, from the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea, CSIRO H 6019-01, depth 750–774 m. Source: NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

A pale yellowish-pink batfish with a reddish smoky pattern, a paler underside and pale fins. The oral cavity and gill chamber are pale, and the membrane of the peritoneum is dark grey. The species is known only from the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea, in the Australian EEZ.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Halicmetus drypus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Pink Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus drypus Ho & Last 2018

More Info


Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea (c. 26 26 S, 167 10 E) in depths of 750-774 m. The species may also occur off New South Wales.


Dorsal fin 0; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 13.

Body depressed, disc subtriangular, slightly broader than long, truncated anteriorly, width ~67% SL; orbit relatively large, ~9.3% SL, directed dorsolaterally; rostrum a bony plate, short to mouth; interorbital very narrow, ~5.7% SL; illicial cavity situated entirely under rostrum, opening broad, wider than high; nostrils located on each side of lateroventral margins of illicial cavity; esca a fleshy bulb with 2 short filaments on dorsal margin.
Mid-dorsal disc with mainly relatively widely spaced, simple spinules and weak coverage of very tiny tubercles, imperceptible without magnification; belly covered with relatively widely spaced, simple and bifurcate spinules, larger tubercles and bucklers absent.
Lateral line canal system well developed. Supraorbital series 4; body series 9; premaxillary series 1; cheek series 8; preopercular series 2; subopercular series 7; dorsolateral branch of subopercular series 3; ventral series 1; tail series 10. Dermal cirri present, associated with lateral line system on disc margin and tail.
Pectoral fins at outer portion of posterior margin of disk; pelvic fins on ventral surface, closer to mouth than anus; anal fin on ventromedial surface at mid-length of tail.


Dorsal surface pale pink with diffuse darker reddish pattern when fresh, uniformly creamy white when preserved; peritoneal membrane pale with many scattered melanophores (not visible from ventral surface); distal parts of pectoral, pelvic and anal fins pale.


The specific name is from the Greek drypus, in reference to the pink plant genus Drypis of the Tribe Drypideae, family Caryophyllaceae.

Species Citation

Halicmetus drypus Ho & Last 2018, Zootaxa 4508(2): 188, Figs. 2C, 5. Type locality: Norfolk Ridge, Tasman Sea, 26°26'S, 167°09'E, depth 750-774 m.


Bray, D.J. 2019

Pink Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus drypus Ho & Last 2018


Ho, H.-C. & Last, P.R. 2018. Review of the batfish genus Halicmetus Alcock, 1891 from Australian waters, with descriptions of two new species (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae). Zootaxa 4508(2): 179-196. DOI:

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37212049

Depth:750-775 m

Max Size:6.7 cm SL

Native:Endemic (AUS EEZ)

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map