Antipodean Slickhead, Alepocephalus antipodianus (Parrott 1948)

Other Names: Smallscale Slickhead

An Antipodean Slickhead, Alepocephalus antipodianus, from seamounts in the Tasman Sea. Source: Robin McPhee / NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

A large slickhead with small scales, oblique scale rows before the dorsal and anal fins; 8–12 scales above the lateral line and 9–14 scales below the lateral line.

Cite this page as:
Alan Williams & Dianne J. Bray, Alepocephalus antipodianus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020,

Antipodean Slickhead, Alepocephalus antipodianus (Parrott 1948)

More Info


Widespread in the southern half of Australia, from off Broken Bay, NSW to off Barrow Island, WA, including TAS and the Lord Howe Rise. In Australian waters, the Antipodean Slickhead is benthopelagic  at 822–1360m, but mostly 900–1100m. Elsewhere, the species is found worldwide from tropical to sub-Antarctic latitudes.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin17–18; Anal fin19–20; Pectoral fin8–10; Pelvic fin7; Lateral line 55–73; Gill rakers 6–9 + 14–20 = 20–28; Vertebrae (preural) 51–57.

Head rather wide and long, head length about 32% SL, snout length usually equal to or slightly shorter than eye diameter, rarely slightly longer; upper jaw to or beyond middle of eye; no white connective tissue along eye margin.


To 56 cm SL.


Body brownish pink, yellowish where scales and skin have been removed. The scale pockets are dark, and the head is black.


Almost nothing is known of the biology of this species.


Alan Williams & Dianne J. Bray

Antipodean Slickhead, Alepocephalus antipodianus (Parrott 1948)


Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Gates, J.E. 2006. Alepocephalidae. pp. 384-393 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp. [385]

Sazonov, Y.I. & Markle, D.F. 1999. Family Alepocephalidae. pp. 1888-1893 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. [1892]

Williams, A. & Sazonov, Y.I. 2008. Family Alepocephalidae and Platytroctidae. pp. 201-210 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [202]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37114013

Depth:822-1360 metres



Max Size:56 cm SL

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