False Graceful Whiptail, Coelorinchus smithi Gilbert & Hubbs 1920

False Graceful Whiptail, Coelorinchus smithi. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

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Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2018, Coelorinchus smithi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3430

False Graceful Whiptail, Coelorinchus smithi Gilbert & Hubbs 1920

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NW of Port Hedland, Western Australia, to W of Cartier Reef, Timor Sea, and off Cape York to NE of Coolangatta, Queensland, also recorded from Arafura Sea north of Australia so distribution is probably continuous. Elsewhere the species occurs in the west Pacific: Philippines, South China Sea, Japan, Indonesia and northwestern and eastern and northeastern Australia.


D II, 8-10; P 15-19; V 7; GR 7-8; BR 6; PC
Snout moderately long, more so in juveniles, sharply pointed in lateral view, tipped with a sharp, slender, diamond-shaped scute, anterolateral margin sharp, completely supported by bone. Mouth relatively broad, slightly restricted at corners, upper jaw teeth in broad uniform band, no teeth enlarged; lower jaw teeth uniformly small, in long, narrow band; chin barbel short. Underside of head uniformly covered with small, non-overlapping scales, except along narrow ventral margin of preopercle, anteriorly on lowe jaw and over gill and gular membranes; nasal fossa almost naked or with fine scales anteriorly and ventrally. Body scales large, with 3-7 divergent ridge-like rows of stout, triangular spinules, middle row strongest, with 4-6 spinules. First dorsal fin low, dorsal and pectoral fins without produced rays, outer pelvic-fin ray slightly elongate, almost reaching or scarcely extending beyond anal-fin origin. Anus slightly before anal-fin origin by 2-3 scale rows. Light organ short, externally visible as a short black fossa before anus; a narrow black midventral streak extends from before periproct to midway between pelvic-fin bases.


Reaches a total length of 35 cm.


Overall dark brown to swarthy in adults, more greyish in young; abdomen with bluish to violet tinge; fins, mouth, gill cavities, and branchiostegal membranes black; lips, external faces of premaxillary and maxillary white to dusky; gums pale, barbel pale to dusky.


Carnivorous on cephalopod molluscs, lanternfishes (Family Myctophidae), small crustaceans and polychaete worms.


Of no commercial importance.


Not assessed.

Species Citation

Coelorhynchus smithi Gilbert & Hubbs 1920, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 100(7): 493 fig. 20. Type locality: between Gillolo and Makyan Islands, Philippines.


Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

False Graceful Whiptail, Coelorinchus smithi Gilbert & Hubbs 1920


Gilbert, C.H. & Hubbs, C.L. 1920. The macrouroid fishes of the Philippine Islands and the East Indies. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(7): 369-588 figs 1-40

Iwamoto, T. 1990. Family Macrouridae. pp. 90-318 in Cohen, D.M., Inada, T., Iwamoto, T. & Scialabba, N. FAO Species Catalogue. Gadiform fishes of the world (order Gadiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cods, hakes, grenadiers and other gadiform fishes known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Rome : FAO Vol. 10 442 pp.

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. & 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. & 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.

Sazonov, Y.I. & Iwamoto, T. 1992. Grenadiers (Pisces, Gadiformes) of the Nazca and Sala y Gomez ridges, southeastern Pacific. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 48(2): 27-95

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232114


Depth:300-1100 m


Max Size:43 cm TL

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