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: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pale pinkish to yellowish-brown seabat densely covered in faint dusky irregular 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. 2021, Halicmetus westraliensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5476

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. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

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. 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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