Genus Polyipnus


A genus of marine hatchetfishes found in all oceans. More than 30 species are known, with 10 species found in Australian waters.

Species of Polyipnus have the following characteristics: Body very deep, compressed; underside with a bony keel; a small bony blade with 2 posterolaterally directed spines before the dorsal fin; posttemporal with 1–3 spines; eye large, focused laterally; mouth small, nearly vertical, ending before orbit; teeth tiny, conical, in 2–3 rows; dorsal adipose fin usually present, moderately long and low; anal fin moderately long; pectoral fin of moderate size; pelvic fin small, below dorsal fin.

Author: Dianne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Martin F. Gomon, Polyipnus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,


Baird, R.C. 1971. The systematics, distribution, and zoogeography of the marine hatchetfishes (family Sternoptychidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 142(1): 1-128 figs 1-80

Harold, A.S. 1994. A taxonomic revision of the sternoptychid genus Polyipnus (Teleostei: Stomiiformes) with an analysis of phylogenetic relationships. Bulletin of Marine Science 54(2): 428-534 figs 1-60

Harold, A.S. 1999. Families Gonostomatidae, Sternoptychidae, Phosichthyidae, Astronesthidae, Stomiidae, Chauliodontidae, Melanostomiidae, Idiacanthidae, Malacosteidae. pp. 1896-1917 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.

Harold, A.S. & M.F. Gomon. 2008. Family Sternoptychidae. In: Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Harold, A.S., J.H., III Wessel, & R.K. Johnson. 1998. A new species of Polyipnus (Teleostei: Stomiiformes) from the western Indian Ocean, with comments on sternoptychid ecology. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 111 (4): 942-953.

Last, P.R. & A.S. Harold. 1994. Polyipnus latirastrus n. sp., a new and unusual hatchetfish (Stomiiformes: Sternoptychidae) from the western Pacific. Copeia 1994(1): 210-215.