Genus Pezichthys

The largest handfish genus with five known species. Species of Pezichthys have the following combination of characters: body depth relatively deep, 32–48% SL at second dorsal-fin origin; head variably compressed and large, length 49–55% SL; caudal peduncle short to long, 4–11% SL; illicium short and stout to very slender and long (1.9–3.5 in head length), 1–9 times length of esca; skin surface very rough, almost completely covered with small spiny scales; spinules mainly bifurcate, upright, originating near middle of scale bases; scale bases stellate or subcircular, and embedded but spinules divided well above skin surface; dermal appendages present or absent (usually confined to arm of pectoral-fin); lacking wart-like protuberances; sensory scales variably demarcated; body coloration simple, with fine markings or with a floral pattern; pectoral-fin rays 7; anal-fin rays 7–9 (mainly 8); vertebrae 20–22. 
Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pezichthys in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,


Last, P.R. & Gledhill, D.C. 2009. A revision of the Australian handfishes (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with descriptions of three new genera and nine new species. Zootaxa 2252: 1-77.