Rough-head Whiptail, Coelorinchus trachycarus Iwamoto, McMillan & Shcherbachev 1999

Other Names: Spottyhead, Thornyhead Grenadier

A Rough-head Whiptail, Coelorinchus trachycarus, collected east of Shoalhaven Bight, New South Wales, in 1115-1152 metres. Source: Ken J. Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A large dark grenadier with a violet to purplish tinge, especially over the naked areas, blackish fins, very spiny scales on the head ridges, prominent free neuromasts on the head, and the numerous parallel rows of spinules on body scales.
Dark overall with  fin rays blackish.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G.J. 2017, Coelorinchus trachycarus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024,

Rough-head Whiptail, Coelorinchus trachycarus Iwamoto, McMillan & Shcherbachev 1999

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Southwestern Pacific; known from southern and southeastern Australia, across to the Norfolk Ridge south of New Caledonia and New Zealand; bathydemersal on the continental slope at 600-1700 m; in Australian waters, most common at 1000-1200 m.


Dorsal fin II, 7-9; Pectoral fin 15-18; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers 8-9; Pyloric caecae 7-9.
Snout, long, wide, rounded when viewed dorsally, tipped with sharp terminal scute, anterolateral margins incompletely supported by bone, head ridges with modified spiny, coarse scales; underside of head fully scaled, nasal fossa naked to suborbital ridge; prominent free neuromasts on head, giving a spotty appearance; mouth small, teeth small, in bands in both jaws; chin barbel small. Body scales large, with 5-13 parallel rows of relatively narrow spinules, middle row longest and highest. Anus immediately before anal-fin origin; light organ small, immmediately before anus, lacking an external fossa and not externally visible.


A large species reaching a total length of 51 cm.


Dark overall with violet to purplish tinge, especially over naked areas, fin rays blackish.


Of no commercial importance.


Species Citation

Coelorinchus trachycarus Iwamoto, McMillan & Shcherbachev, 1999, N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 33(1): 49, off Wairarapa, New Zealand, 41°23.6'S, 176°21.7'E.


Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G.J. 2017

Rough-head Whiptail, Coelorinchus trachycarus Iwamoto, McMillan & Shcherbachev 1999


Bray, D.J., D.F. Hoese, J.R. Paxton & J.E. Gates. 2006. Macrouridae (pp. 581-607). In Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, G.R. Allen, J.R. Paxton, P.L. Beesley & A. Wells (Eds.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Fishes. CSIRO Publishing & the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), 3 vols., 2248 pp.

Iwamoto, T. & Graham, K.J. 2001. Grenadiers (Families Bathygadidae and Macrouridae,  Gadiformes, Pisces) of New South Wales, Australia. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 52(21): 407-509, figs. 1-114.

Iwamoto, T.  & P.J. McMillan  2008. Macrouridae. In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers & Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. 1-928p.

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.

Merrett, N.R. & T. Iwamoto. 2000. Pisces Gadiformes: Grenadier fishes of the New Caledonian region, southwest Pacific Ocean. Taxonomy and distribution, with ecological notes, pp. 723-781 In Crosnier, R. (ed). Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, 21. Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 184.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232080


Depth:600-1975 m


Max Size:51 cm TL

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