Common name: Deepsea gulpers



Bizarre deepwater eels found with an enormous mouth, a huge expandable pharynx, a long tail tipped with a small luminous organ and black velvety skin.

The family contains a single species, Eurypharynx pelecanoides.

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Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Deepsea gulpers, EURYPHARYNGIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Apr 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

The family contains a single species, Eurypharynx pelecanoides.

Family Description

Found worldwide in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.


Dianne J. Bray


Charter, S.R. 1996. Eurypharyngidae: umbrellamouth gulpers. p. 155-157. In H.G. Moser (ed.) The early stages of fishes in the California Current region. California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Atlas No. 33. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 1505 p.

Nielsen, J..G., Bertelsen, E. & Jespersen, A. 1989. The biology of Eurypharynx pelecanoides (Pisces, Eurypharyngidae). Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 70(3): 187-197

Nielsen, J.G. & Bertelsen, E. 1990. Eurypharyngidae. 206 in Quéro, J.-C., Hureau, J.-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds). Check-list of the Fishes of the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Paris : UNESCO 1492 pp., 3 vols.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates & D.F. Hoese 2006. Families Cyematidae, Eurypharyngidae and Saccopharyngidae. pp. 304-307 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Smith, D.G. 1999. Families Colocongridae, Derichthyidae, Muraenesocidae, Nemichtyhyidae, Congridae, Nettastomatidae, Serrivomeridae, Cyematidae, Saccopharyngidae, Eurypharyngidae, Monognathidae. pp. 1670-1697 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 1397-2068 pp.

Smith, D.G. 2008. Family Eurypharyngidae. pp. 182 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Vaillant, L.L. 1882. Sur un poisson des grandes profondeurs de l'Atlantique, l'Eurypharynx pelecanoides. Comptes Rendus (Hebdomadaires) des Séances de l'Academie des Sciences. Série D. Sciences Naturelles 95: 1226-1228