Red Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus ruber Alcock 1891

A Red Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus ruber, from SW of Scott Reef, Western Australia, depth ~1020 m, NMV A 29720-004, 52 mm SL. Source: Dianne J. Bray / Museums Victoria. License: CC by Attribution

A pale grey seabat with or without dusky markings on the uperside, a whitish underside with a dark peritoneum, and a dark margin on the pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. The Red Shortnose Seabat is unique among seabats in lacking a dorsal fin in adults (>30 mm SL).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Halicmetus ruber in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Red Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus ruber Alcock 1891

More Info


North West Shelf from north of West Cape  to southwest of Scott Reef , Western Australia; also off Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west Pacific.


Dorsal fin absent; Anal fin 4; Pectoral fin 12–13; Pelvic fin 5; Caudal fin 9.

Body strongly depressed, disc relatively narrow, subtriangular, 63–75% SL, wider than long; tail relatively long. Snout broad and rounded, without a conical rostrum, face flatted and upturned, the mouth visible from dorsal view. Illicial trough opening moderately high;Orbit large, 8.8–10.5% SL; interorbital very narrow, 5.1–6.4% SL. Illicial trough opening moderately high, illicial cavity small, esca a small flat lobe, ventrally broader than dorsal, with fleshy fringe on dorsal edge. Mid-dorsal disc with small scattered bucklers, robust and multicuspid spinules and scattered tiny tubercles, the later imperceptible without magnification; belly covered with relatively widely spaced, robust, simple and bifurcate spinules, larger tubercles and bucklers absent. Dorsal  fin absent in adult, anal fin very short.


The specific name is from the Latin ruber (= red) in reference to the "uniformly light pink" colour of this species (as described by Alcock).

Species Citation

Halicmetus ruber Alcock 1891, Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 6)8 (43/44): 27, Pl. 8 (figs. 1, 1a-b). Type locality: Andaman Sea, 11°31'40"N, 92°46'06"E, Investigator station 115, depth 188-220 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Red Shortnose Seabat, Halicmetus ruber Alcock 1891


Alcock, A. 1891. Class Pisces. In, II. – Natural history notes from H. M. Indian marine survey steamer Investigator, Commander R.F. Hoskyn, R.N., commanding.–Series II., No. 1. On the results of deep-sea dredging during the season 1890-91. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 6 8(43, 44): 16-34, 119-138 figs 1-5 pls 7-8 See ref at BHL

Ho, H. 2020. Halicmetus ruber. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T140301457A140322705. Downloaded on 25 November 2021.

Ho, H.-C., Endo, H. & Sakamaki, K. 2008. A new species of Halicmetus (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae) from the western Pacific, with comments on congeners. Zoological Studies 47(6): 767-773. See ref online

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37212022

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:440-1023 m

Habitat:Demersal, continental slope

Max Size:9 cm SL

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