Ai's Bandfish, Owstonia ainonaka Smith-Vaniz & Johnson 2016

Other Names: Ainonaka Bandfish, Short-tail Bandfish

Holotype of Ai's Bandfish, Owstonia ainonaka, from off Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, AMS I.33437-002, 213 mm SL. Source: Sandra E. Raredon / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

This species is known only from the holotype collected off Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, and live coloration is unknown. In preservative, it has a uniformly pale dorsal fin, irregular shaped, large, dark brown blotches on the membrane connecting the maxilla and premaxilla (upper jaw bones), and a black inner membrane covering the posterior part of the dentary (lower jaw bone). 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Owstonia ainonaka in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Mar 2023,

Ai's Bandfish, Owstonia ainonaka Smith-Vaniz & Johnson 2016

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Known only from the holotype collected off Coffs Harbour, New South Wales (30°18'S, 153°26'E), depth 183 m. 


Dorsal fin III, 21; Anal fin I, 13; Pectoral fin 22; Gill rakers 15 + 26 or 27 = 41–42; Vertebrae precaudal 11, caudal 17, total 28; Anal-fin pterygiophores anterior to 1st haemal spine 2; Oblique body scale rows in mid-lateral series about 46/50 in addition to 4 scales on base of caudal fin; nape scaly and cheek scale rows 6‒7, with adjacent scales abutting each other.
Lateral line (pattern type 1), simple, originating from posttemporal canal near anterodorsal margin of gill opening, curving upward and backward and continuing posteriorly just below dorsal-fin base to soft ray 18.
Lower limb margin of preopercle without spines. Papillae in slight depression behind tip of premaxillary ascending processes 4, arranged in 2 almost equally spaced pairs. When mouth closed upper jaw extends only to vertical from posterior margin of pupil. 
Teeth in outer row of premaxilla 19/22; 2/3 inner teeth anteriorly. Teeth in lateral row of each dentary 8/9, including at anterior end a row (left side) or irregular group (right side) of 4 blunt conical teeth as large as adjacent symphyseal teeth; symphyseal teeth 4 or 5, short and spike-like, and with 3 smaller inner teeth behind the anterior row or group of lateral teeth. 
Pelvic fin short, depressed fin does not extend to anus. Caudal fin lanceolate. Caudal fin 1.8 times in SL; head 3.3 times in SL; body depth at anal-fin origin 3.6 times in SL.


In preservative: adults with dorsal fin uniformly pale; membrane connecting maxilla and premaxilla with irregular shaped, large, dark brown blotches, and inner membrane covering posterior part of dentary black.


The specific name is a combination of the first (Ai) and last name (Nonaka) of the second author’s wife in appreciation for her valuable assistance with this study.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Ai's Bandfish, Owstonia ainonaka Smith-Vaniz & Johnson 2016


Hoese, D.F. 2006. Family Cepolidae. pp. 1360-1362 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. (p. 1362, misidentified as Owstonia totomiensis)

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Johnson, G.D. 2016. Hidden diversity in deep-water bandfishes: review of Owstonia with descriptions of twenty-one new species (Teleostei: Cepolidae: Owstoniinae). Zootaxa 4187(1): 1–103 available, open access

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CAAB Code:37380010

Depth:183 m

Max Size:21 cm SL


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