Golden Roughy, Aulotrachichthys pulsator Gomon & Kuiter 1987

A Golden Roughy, Aulotrachichthys pulsator. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved


A rare bioluminescent roughy found only in South Australia. The Golden Roughy is golden-brown above, silvery below with a golden hue, a broad silvery stripe (luminescent organ) along the lower side from the pelvic-fin base almost to the caudal-fin base. The fins are pale, with brownish caudal-fin lobes.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Aulotrachichthys pulsator in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Sep 2022,

Golden Roughy, Aulotrachichthys pulsator Gomon & Kuiter 1987

More Info


Known only from rocky reefs at depths of 25 m off Topgallant Island, South Australia.


Dorsal fin V, 13; Anal fin II, 9; Caudal fin 19; Pectoral fin 12; Pelvic fin I, 6; Lateral–line scales 28; Gill rakers 5-7 + 1 + 11-13 = 17-21; Abdominal scutes 8-9.

Body moderately shallow, depth at dorsal-fin origin 33-35% SL; dorsal and ventral profiles nearly symmetrical; eye large, horizontal diameter, 35-39% head length, placed almost midlaterally on head.

Striated silvery tissue extending posteriorly from each pelvic-fin base along the ventral profile of sides nearly to the caudal-fin base.

Dorsal-fin spines becoming progressively and distinctly longer posteriorly, only second and third subequal; first three segmented rays likewise becoming progressively longer and subsequent rays becoming progressively shorter; profile of dorsal fin broadly triangular.


To at least 8 cm SL.

Similar Species

The Golden Roughy is very similar in appearance to A. novaezelandicus


The name pulsator is from Latin, meaning 'striker' or 'beater', in reference to the click-like sounds made by the Golden Roughy when distrubed.

Species Citation

Aulotrachichthys pulsator Gomon & Kuiter 1987, Memoirs of the Museum Victoria 48(1): 27, Fig. 1. Type locality: Topgallant Island, South Australia, 33°43'S, 134°38'E, depth 25 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Golden Roughy, Aulotrachichthys pulsator Gomon & Kuiter 1987


Gomon, M.F. 1994. Families Trachichthyidae, Monocentridae. pp. 399-412 figs 358-369 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.

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Trachichthyidae. pp. 420-430. in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Gomon, M.F. & Kuiter, R.H. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 8. A new species of Aulotrachichthys (Trachichthyidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 27-29

Kotlyar, A.N. 1996. Beryciform Fishes of the World Ocean. Moscow : VNIRO Publishing 368 pp. (as Paratrachichthys pulsator)

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.J. Bray, M.F. Gomon & D.F. Hoese 2006. Trachichthyidae. pp. 767-772. in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37255012


Depth:25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm SL


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