Common name: Telescope fishes


Rare deepsea fishes with bizarre tubular eyes that are directed forward, large pectoral fins and a ribbon-like tail.

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Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Telescope fishes, GIGANTURIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

Family with single genus Gigantura, and two species, both found in Australian waters

Family Distribution

Found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans; meso- and bathy-pelagic, with adults at depths between 700–3000 m and no evidence of vertical migration.

Family Size

Telescope fishes grow to more than 25 cm in length.

Family Colour

Freshly caught individuals are bright silvery, and become uniformly brownish-black when preserved.

Family Feeding

Specialised predators, feeding on on other mesopelagic fishes.

Family Reproduction

Telescope fishes are synchronous hermaphrodites, and have a distinctive epipelgaic larval stage called a rosaura larva.

Family Commercial

Rare deepsea fishes of no interest to fisheries.

Family Conservation

Not evaluated.


Dianne J. Bray


Johnson, R.K. & E. Bertelsen. 1991. The fishes of the family Giganturidae: systematics, distribution and aspects of biology. Dana Report 91: 1-45.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York. 4th edition,. 601 pp.

Paxton, J.R. , J.E. Gates, & D.J. Bray. 2006. Giganturidae, In Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray. G.R. Allen, J.R. Paxton, P.L. Beesley & A. Wells. Zoological Catalague of Asutralia. Volume 35. Fishes. CSIRO Publishing & ABRS.