Blackrag, Psenes pellucidus Lütken 1880

Other Names: Bluefin Driftfish, Eyebrow Fish, Scissortail, Short-finned Trevalla

A juvenile Blackrag, Psenes pellucidus, in Japan. Source: Fishpix ( / via Shorefishes of the Eastern Tropical Pacific. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Adult Blackrag are dark brown to deep purple with a dark blue eye. The pelagic juveniles are a translucent silvery-blue with broad dark blue bands along the dorsal and anal fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Psenes pellucidus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 12 Jul 2020,

Blackrag, Psenes pellucidus Lütken 1880

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Newcastle, New South Wales, to east of Bicheno Tasmania, to off south Australia; also at Lord Howe Island and on the Cascade Plateau, Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical waters.


Dorsal fin. ix- xii + i, 27-32; Anal fin iii, 26-31; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 18-20; Pelvic fin i, 5; Lateral line approx. 120; Gill rakers 8-9+1+14-16; Vertebrae 41-42.
Body elongate, moderately deep (31-41% SL), strongly compressed; caudal peduncle short and slender; musculature soft and flabby. Head large (25-39% SL), compressed; snout blunt, almost truncated; eyes large (23-28% HL), set deep into head; mouth of moderate size, maxillae not quite reaching below front of eyes, barely oblique; teeth in upper jaw fang like and widely spaced, those in lower jaw close set and finely serrate, each jaw with single row, small teeth on vomer but none on tongue.
Scales very small and easily dislodged, extending forward on head to between orbits; lateral line close to and following profile of back. Numerous small pores on head.
Two dorsal fins, first dorsal membranous with slender spines, high and rounded, originating above pectoral fin bases; second dorsal long, of moderate height, outer margin rounded, about parallel with profile of back; anal fin similar to and opposite second dorsal; caudal fin distinctly forked, fin tips pointed. Pectoral fins moderately small, rounded, paddle shaped. Pelvic fins of moderate size, thoracic.

Species Citation

Psenes pellucidus Lutken, 1880, Dansk. Viol. Selsk. Skrift., Kjobenhavn (5)12(6): 516, fig. 601. Type locality: Surabaja Strait, Java Sea.


Dianne J. Bray

Blackrag, Psenes pellucidus Lütken 1880


Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Gomon, M.F. & Last, P.R. 2008. Family Nomeidae. pp. 801-804 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Haedrich, R.L. 1967. The stromateoid fishes; systematics and a classification. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard 135(2): 31-139 figs 1-56

Last, P.R. 2001. Nomeidae, Ariommatidae, Tetragonuridae. pp. 3771-3785 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Lütken, C.F. 1880. Spolia Atlantica. Bidrag til Kundskab om Formforandringer hos Fiske under deres Vaext og Udvikling, saerligt hos nogle af Atlanterhavets Højsøfiske. Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter, Naturvidenskabelig og mathematisk afdeling, Kjøbenhavn (5)12: 409-613, Pls. 1-5.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

McDowall, R.M. 1994. Family Nomeidae. pp. 839-843, figs 742-745 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Parin, N.V. & Piotrovsky, A.S. 2004. Stromateoid fishes (suborder Stromateoidei) of the Indian Ocean (species composition, distribution, biology, and fisheries). Journal of Ichthyology 44(Suppl. 1): 33-62.

Whitley, G.P. 1948. Studies in Ichthyology No. 13. Records of the Australian Museum 22(1): 70-94 figs 1-11

Whitley, G.P. 1958. Descriptions and records of fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1956–57: 28-51 figs 1-12

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37446001

Depth:0-500 m


Habitat:Pelagic, oceanic

Max Size:80 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map