West Australian Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus westraliensis Ho & Last 2018

Holotype of the West Australian Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus westraliensis, CSIRO CA 3647, from SW of Imperieuse Reef, Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, depth 400–404 m. Source: Modified from Fig. 4A in Ho & Last (2018) Zootaxa 4508(2): 179-196. License: All rights reserved

A pale pinkish seabat covered in a dense pattern of faint dusky blotches, with sparse melanophores on the peritoneal membrane, and pale distal parts of the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Halicmetus westraliensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Apr 2020,

West Australian Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus westraliensis Ho & Last 2018

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Off the North West Shelf, Western Australia, to south of Cartier Island, Timor Sea, in depths of 280-434 m.


Dorsal fin 0–3; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 11–12. 
Body depressed; disc subtriangular, margin rounded, moderately broad, broader than long, weakly truncated anteriorly, disc width 66–74% SL; skull slightly elevated anteriorly when viewed in lateral profile; orbit small, directed dorsolaterally, 7.2–8.9% SL; interorbit narrow, 6.3–8.3% SL; rostrum bony, almost flat, plate-like, not overhanging mouth; illicial cavity situated entirely under rostrum, opening broad, much wider than high; nostrils located on each side of ventrolateral margins of illicial cavity; esca a fleshy bulb, usually with 2 short filaments on its dorsal margin.
Mid-dorsal disc covered with mixed simple and bifurcated spinules; tiny bucklers evenly distributed on dorsal surface, imperceptible without magnification; belly covered with closely spaced, simple spinules and slightly larger, scattered multicuspid tubercles. 
Lateral line canal system well developed. Supraorbital series 4 or 5; body series 8 or 9; premaxillary series 1; cheek series 8; preopercular series 2; subopercular series 7; dorsolateral branch of subopercular series 3; ventral series 1; tail series 9–10.
Dorsal-fin rays usually present.


Pale pinkish or yellowish-brown on median disc and tail, suffused with fainter darker brown irregular blotches; margin of disc pale; all fins pale; ventral surface probably paler than dorsal surface.


The species is named westraliensis in reference to the type locality, Western Australia.

Species Citation

Halicmetus westraliensis Ho & Last 2018, Zootaxa 4508(2): 185, Figs. 2B, 4. Type locality: Southwest of Imperieuse Reef, Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, 18°07'S, 118°09'E, depth 400-404 m.


Bray, D.J. 2019

West Australian Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus westraliensis 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4508.2.2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37212048

Depth:280-435 m

Max Size:8.6 cm SL


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