Thurla Whiptail, Coelorinchus thurla Iwamoto & Williams 1999

Illustration of the Thurla Whiptail, Coelorinchus thurla. Source: T. Iwamoto, California Academy of Sciences. License: All rights reserved


This little grenadier with the large oblong spot near the pectoral fin is only found in northern Australian waters.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2020, Coelorinchus thurla in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024,

Thurla Whiptail, Coelorinchus thurla Iwamoto & Williams 1999

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Endemic Australian species known only from off northern and northwestern Australia; bathydemersal on the continental slope and continental shelf at 179-320 m.


D II, 8-9; P 14-16; V 7; GR (inner) 6-8; BR 6; PC
Snout moderately long, much longer than orbit diameter, sharply pointed in lateral view, tipped with sharp spiny scute, anterolateral margins completely supported by bone. Mouth small, upper jaw teeth in short broad band, lower jaw teeth in narrow tapering band, outer rows not enlarged; chin barbel short, thick near base, rapidly tapering to fine tip. Underside of head completely naked, nasal fossa naked or with a few tiny scales; body scales with short, fine needle-like spinules in 6-11 parallel rows. Second dorsal fin poorly developed over most of length, outer pelvic-fin ray slightly elongate. Except for outer pelvic ray, none of fins with produced rays. Anus slightly removed from anal fin origin. Light organ externally visible as a short, narrow black fossa between pelvicfins.


A small species, only reaching a total length of 21 cm.


Overall brownish, underside of head, lips, barbel and gums somewhat creamy white; mouth and gullet mostly dark, paler near mouth opening; abdomen with bluish tinge, dark area extending onto chest ventrally; anterior lateral line overlaid with a prominent oblong ocellated spot, 4-5 scale rows deep; a fainter, elongated saddle mark (more like a diagonal band in some) below second dorsal fin, separated from pectoral spot by distance about equal to snout length or length of snout and orbit.




Of no commercial interest.


Species Citation

Coelorinchus thurla Iwamoto & Williams (1999, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 51(3): 164,  Northwest Shelf, Western Australia, 13°45'04"S, 123°30'00"E.


Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2020


Thurla Whiptail, Coelorinchus thurla Iwamoto & Williams 1999


Iwamoto, T. & Williams, A. 1999. Grenadiers (Pisces, Gadiformes) from the continental slope of western and northwestern Australia. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 51(3): 105-243, figs. 1-58.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232115


Depth:180-320 m


Max Size:310


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