Semaphore Whiptail, Coelorinchus semaphoreus Iwamoto & Merrett 1997


Coelorinchus-semaphoreus. Source: Coelorinchus-semaphoreus. License:

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Bray, D.J. & G. Frankham, Coelorinchus semaphoreus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Apr 2024,

Semaphore Whiptail, Coelorinchus semaphoreus Iwamoto & Merrett 1997

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Tropical Southwestern Pacific; known from off New Caledonia and northeastern Australia; bathydemersal on the continental slope at 420-445 m.


D II, 8-10; P 14-16; V 7; GR (inner) 7-8; BR 6; PC
Body slender, snout long, slender, sharply pointed, tipped with narrow, spear-head shaped scute, anterolateral margins incompletely supported by bone; mouth small to moderate, upper jaw extending to below hind margin of orbits; jaw teeth in bands, a long, broad band in lowe jaw; chin barbel short, finely tapered,. Underside of head completely naked, top of snout scaled except for naked strip on each side medial to anterolateral margin, nasal fossa naked; no naked areas below orbit on suborbital shelf. Body scales large, with numerous low rows of short conical spinules. First dorsal fin low, height less than snout length; pectoral and pelvic fins rather small, not reacing anus. Anus immediately before anal fin. Light organ long, prominent, dilated at each end into oval fossa with shallow connecting groove, extending from anus to thorax just behind isthmus.


Reaches a total length of 34 cm.


Overall pale, whitish to silvery ventrally, with no bold markings; chest and around light organ blackish; first dorsal fin pale to white with a prominent black midlateral blotch.




Of no commercial importance.


Not assessed.

Species Citation

Coelorinchus semaphoreus Iwamoto & Merrett 1997, Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 176: 503, fig. 14, off north-west point of New Caledonia, 18°57.0'S, 163°12.6'E.


Bray, D.J. & G. Frankham

Semaphore Whiptail, Coelorinchus semaphoreus Iwamoto & Merrett 1997


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. & Merrett, N. 1997. Pisces Gadiformes; Taxonomy of grenadiers of the New Caledonian regions, southwest Pacific. pp. 473-570 In Crosnier, A. (ed.) Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM. Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 176: 1-570.  

Merrett, N.R. & T. Iwamoto. 2000. Pisces Gadiformes: Grenadier fishes of the New Caledonian region, southwest Pacific Ocean. Taxonomy and distribution, with ecological notes. In Crosnier, R. (ed). Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, 21. Memoires du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (N. S.) (Série A) Zoologie No. 184: 723-781.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232117


Depth:400-485 m



Max Size:340

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