Longray Spiderfish, Bathypterois longifilis Günther 1878

Other Names: Feeler Fish

Longray Spiderfish, Bathypterois longifilis. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


A spiderfish with extremely elongated upper pectoral-fin rays, long pelvic fins with thickened lower fin-rays and a a subcaudal notch at the base of the lowere caudal-fin rays. 

These spiderfishes prop high off the seafloor on their long pelvic and caudal fins and face into the current. They extend their long pectoral fins forward to detect their prey of planktonic fishes and invertebrates. Underwater ROV images have shown the trails made when these fishes 'walk' over the seafloor on their pelvic fins and lower tail fin lobe.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Bathypterois longifilis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jan 2020,

Longray Spiderfish, Bathypterois longifilis Günther 1878

More Info


Off southern Queensland to off southern New South Wales, and the Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge. Elsewhere the species occurs around New Zealand. Inhabits deep soft muddy bottoms on the continental slope and abyss.


Feeds on small planktonic crustaceans, fishes and squid detected with the long pectoral-fin rays.

Species Citation

Bathypterois longifilis Günther 1878, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 5 2(2, 22, 28): 183. Type locality: near the Kermadec Islands, 29°40'-30'S, 178°05'-15'W, Challenger station 170-170A, depth 520 and 620 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Longray Spiderfish, Bathypterois longifilis Günther 1878


Amaoka, K., Matsuura, K., Inada, T., Takeda, M., Hatanaka, H. & Okada, K. (eds) 1990. Fishes collected by the R/V Shinkai Maru around New Zealand. Japan Marine Fishery Resource Research Center. pp. 1-410.

Ayling, T. & G.J. Cox. 1982. Collins' guide to sea fishes of New Zealand. Collins. Auckland. 343 pp.

Gomon, M.F. 2015. Family Ipnopidae. pp. 562-565 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Günther, A. 1878. Preliminary notices of deep-sea fishes collected during the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 5 2(2, 22, 28): 17-28, 179-187, 248-251

Sulak, K.J. 1977. The systematics and biology of Bathypterois (Pisces, Chlorophthalmidae) with a revised classification of benthic myctophiform fishes. Galathea Report 14: 49-108 figs 1-32 pls 1-7

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37123002

Depth:500-5000 m


Max Size:30 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map