Banded Bellowsfish, Centriscops humerosus (Richardson 1846)

Other Names: Banded Bellows Fish, Banded Bellows-fish, Bugler
Orange form of the Banded Bellowsfish, Centriscops humerosus

Orange form of the Banded Bellowsfish, Centriscops humerosus. Source: Ken Graham. License: All rights reserved


The Banded Bellowsfish is the only species in the genus Centriscops. Juveniles look quite different from the adults, and until recently, were thought to be a different species.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson, Centriscops humerosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 May 2024,

Banded Bellowsfish, Centriscops humerosus (Richardson 1846)

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Circumglobal in temperate waters of the southern hemisphere, including southern Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa; adults benthic or benthopelagic, juveniles pelagic on the continental shelf and slope at 350–1000 m (300–700 m in Australian waters).


Meristic counts: Dorsal fin VI–VII, 16-19; Anal fin 17–21; Pectoral fin 16–18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin 9.

Head and body: Body very deep, almost circular, highly compressed, depth 38–62% SL; upper and lower body profiles asymmetrical; nape of small specimens with an angular hump and a pronounced rounded hump in adults; snout long, tubular, length 26–33% SL; upper edge of orbits strongly serrated in large specimens; nape with angular hump at small sizes and pronounced rounded hump in large adults,

Fins: Dorsal‑fin spines set into a dorsoposteriorly skewed hump, 2nd dorsal fin enlarged,  40–47% SL; pelvic fins small.

Scales: Four well-developed bony plates present at the shoulder region, bristle-like spines absent. Scales modified into coarse denticles, covering almost all of head and body.


To 28 cm SL


Whitish with up to 5 oblique dark-edged orange bands, bands uniformly orange in very large adults; dorsal, anal and caudal fins with dusky to orange hue distally; juveniles bluish grey with colourless fins, bands absent.


Carnivores, feeding on benthic invertebrates including crustaceans, bryozoans, polychaetes, pteropod molluscs and occasionally fish such as the lanternfish Lampanyctodes hectoris.


Oviparous (eggs hatch and develop outside the body) with planktonic eggs and larvae.


Commonly discarded as by-catch in commercial trawl fisheries and in the scalefish trap sector of the gillnet, hook and trap fishery. Frequently taken near 600 m with commercial catches of Ling, Gemfish and King Dory.


Not evaluated.


Juveniles have smaller eyes, a smaller hump on the nape and a very different colour pattern from adults. Until recently, juveniles and adults were thought to be separate species.


Centriscus is from the Latin centrum, meaning point, prickle, spur, in reference to the large second dorsal-fin spine. They are commonly called Bellowsfish, as their shape resembles an old fire bellows.

Species Citation

Centriscops humerosus Richardson 1846, Ichthyology of the voyage of H. M. S. Erebus & Terror 2(2): 56, Pl. 34 (figs. 5-6), South Australia.


Dianne J. Bray & Vanessa J. Thompson

Banded Bellowsfish, Centriscops humerosus (Richardson 1846)


Baker, J.L. 2007. Status of Marine Species at Risk in South Australia: Technical Report – Bony and Cartilaginous Fish. Electronic book for the South Australian working group for marine species of conservation concern. Department for Environment and Heritage, S.A.; Marine and Coastal Community Network, S.A. Branch; Reef Watch, S.A., and Threatened Species Network.

Blaber, S.J.M. & Bulman, C.M. 1987. Diets of fishes of the upper continental slope of eastern Tasmania: content, calorific values, dietary overlap and trophic relationships. Marine Biology 95(3): 345-356.

Duhamel, G. 1995. Révision des genres Centriscops et Notopogon, Macroramphosidae des zones subtropicale et tempérée de l'hémisphère sud. Cybium 19(3): 261-303.

Heemstra P.C. 1986. Macroramphosidae, in Smith M.M. & Heemstra P.C. (eds) Smiths’ Sea Fishes. Macmillian South Africa Pty Ltd.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Crawford House Press Pty Ltd Bathurst NSW Australia

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses, pipefishes and their relatives. Aquatic Photographics, Seaford, Australia., 333pp.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates & D.F. Hoese.  2006. Gasterosteiformes, In Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, J.R. Paxton, G.R. Allen, Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells (Eds). Zoological catalogue of Australia. Volume 35  Fishes. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing, Australia. Part 2.

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CAAB Code:37279001



Max Size:28 cm

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