Marion's Spiderfish, Bathytyphlops marionae Mead 1958

Marion's Spiderfish, Bathytyphlops marionae, on Lonce Cone in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument off Hawaii. Source: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. License: Public Domain

A blackish spiderfish with minute vestigial eyes covered by skin, and black branchiostegal membranes, fins, and linings of body cavities. 
Video of a species Bathytyphlops (possibly B. marionae) filmed by an ROV in the Western Indian Ocean at a depth of 1400 m.
Bathytyphlops filmed during NOAA Okeanos Dive 10 in the Gulf of Mexico, depth 2560 m
Video of Bathytyphlops filmed off La Parguera, Puerto Rico, depth 1100 m.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Bathytyphlops marionae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Dec 2023,

Marion's Spiderfish, Bathytyphlops marionae Mead 1958

More Info


SW of Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, and the Coral Sea off Cape York, Queensland, to off Tuncurry, New South Wales; also in region of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species is circumglobal in tropical seas.


Dorsal fin 12-13; Anal fin 13-14; Pectoral fin 12-13; Pelvic fin 8: Caudal fin i-17-i: Lateral-line scales 64-65; Scales between dorsal fin and lateral line 8; Vertebrae 63-64; Branchiostegal rays 15-17.
Body moderately compressed, snout somewhat depressed. Body deepest at origin of dorsal fin, about 1.4 in HL, about 6.2 in SL. Depth at anal-fin origin 2.2-2.3 in HL; least depth of caudal peduncle 3.0-3.1 in HL. Greatest width of body about 1.7 in greatest depth. 


Feeds on small crustaceans.


All spiderfishes (family Ipnopidae) are simultaneous hermaphrodites. They have an ovotestis comprised of both ovarian and testicular tissue.


Giles Mead named "this new and bizarre species in honour of Mrs. Marion Grey, Chicago Natural History Museum, in recognition of her contributions to the ichthyology of the deep sea". 

Species Citation

Bathytyphlops marionae Mead, 1958, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 48(11): 370, fig. 4. Type locality: Caribbean Sea, western Atlantic, Oregon station 1955, 16°48'N, 82°33'W, depth 550 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Marion's Spiderfish, Bathytyphlops marionae Mead 1958


Bannerman, P., Nunoo, F., Poss, S. & Russell, B. 2015. Bathytyphlops marionae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13462771A15603210. Downloaded on 09 November 2018.

Franco, M.A.L., Braga, A.C., Nunan, G.W.A. & Costa, P.A.S. 2009. Fishes of the family Ipnopidae (Teleostei: Aulopiformes) collected on the Brazilian continental slope between 11° and 23°S. Journal of Fish Biology 75: 797–815

Mead, G.W. 1958. Three new species of archibenthic iniomous fishes from the western North Atlantic. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 48(11): 362-372. See ref at BHL

Merrett, N.R. 1990. Chlorophthalmidae, pp. 351-360. In Quéro, J.-C., Hureau, J.-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds) 1990. Check-list of the Fishes of the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Paris : UNESCO 1492 pp., 3 vols.

Shcherbachev, Y.N. 1980. Preliminary review of the Indian Ocean species of the Chlorophthalmidae (Myctophiformes, Osteichthyes). pp. 47-67 in Parin, N.V. (ed.) Fishes of the Open Ocean. Moscow : Academy of Sciences 120 pp. [in Russian]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37123008


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:800-3310 m


Max Size:38 cm SL

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