False Duckbill Whiptail, Coelorinchus shcherbachevi Iwamoto & Merrett 1997

Illustration of the holotype of the False Duckbill Whiptail, Coelorinchus shcherbachevi, (MNHN 1996- 966), from Seamount K, south of New Caledonia, BERYX 2, stn 9, 797-811 m. Source: Tomio Iwamoto, California Academy of Sciences, via the ALA. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G.J. 2017, Coelorinchus shcherbachevi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3032

False Duckbill Whiptail, Coelorinchus shcherbachevi Iwamoto & Merrett 1997

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Known from the Coral Sea off north Queensland, and south of New Caledonia on the Loyalty Ridge.


Dorsal fin II, 9-10; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers (inner) 8-9; Branchiostegal rays 6.
Head large, stout; snout sharply pointed, stoutly reinforced by scute like scales, anterolateral margins completely supported by bone, tipped with blunt terminal scute; orbits large; mouth inferior, gape wide, scarcely restricted by lip folds; teeth in cardiform bands in both jaws, upper jaw with broad, band in lower jaw narrower, no teeth enlarged short, fine. Scales coarse spiny overall, head ridges stoutly reinforced by coarse, heavy, modified scales; top of snout completely scaled; scales lateral to median nasal ridge large with 4 to 7 narrowly crestlike divergent rows; underside of head almost completely naked, covered with somewhat scraggly appearing, dark, hairlike filaments and blackish, flaplike papillae of sensory lateralis system; two patches of small, non-imbricate scales on underside of head. Body scales with strongly imbricate, relatively broad-based spinules. First dorsal about half head length in height; pectoral and pelvic fins rather short, tips of not reaching anal-fin base; anal fin well developed.Anus slightly removed from anal fin. Dermal window of light organ prominent, immediately anterior to periproct, length about 1/3 orbit diameter.


A relatively large grenadier, attaining a total length of more than 46 cm.


In preservative - light brownish to swarthy overall, slightly paler ventrally and over sides of head, opercular region dark; gums and lower lips pale, upper lips pale to dusky; barbel lightly dusky; uppermost margins of branchiostegal membrane dark, gill and gular membranes externally pale; gill cavity blackish except narrow outer margin; abdomen bluish, chest area light brownish-grey; dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins blackish; anal fin dusky, blackish posteriorly.


Presumably a carnivore.


Possibly taken as bycatch in commercial fisheries in parts of its range.


IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Data Deficient.

Similar Species


The species is named for the late Russian ichthyologist, "Yuri N. Shcherbachev, IOAN, friend, colleague, and fellow student of grenadiers."

Species Citation

Coelorinchus shcherbachevi Iwamoto & Merrett 1997, Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 176: 507, figs. 13b. Type locality: Loyalty Ridge, Seamount K, Southwest Pacific, 24°44.55'S, 170°07.00'E.


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


Australian Faunal directory

False Duckbill Whiptail, Coelorinchus shcherbachevi Iwamoto & Merrett 1997


Iwamoto, T. 1999. Order Gadiformes. In Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. Species identification guide for fisheries purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Batoid fishes, chimeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome.

Iwamoto, T. 2010. Coelorinchus shcherbachevi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155256A4758698. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T155256A4758698.en. Downloaded on 21 October 2016.

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:37232124


Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:805-885 m


Max Size:46+ cm TL

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