Beaked Slickhead, Mirognathus normani Parr 1951

Other Names: Norman's Smooth-head

Beaked Slickhead, Mirognathus normani. Source: NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

A slender dark greyish to black slickhead becoming a paler brownish behind the origin of the pelvic fins. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Mirognathus normani in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2022,

Beaked Slickhead, Mirognathus normani Parr 1951

More Info


Cascade Plateau off eastern Tasmania. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Atlantic and south-west Pacific oceans.


Dorsal fin 18-22; Anal fin 18-20; Pectoral fin 10; Pelvic fin 5-6; Gill rakers 7 + 21- 23; Vertebrae 45-48. 
Head and body completely naked; dorsal and anal fins subequal in size and almost opposite; pectoral fins rudimentary or (usually) absent; no teeth in jaws, bones of the mouth roof, and gill-arches; gill-rakers smooth, lacking denticles. Small light organ present at mouth tip, comprised of transparent areas near symphysis of dentaries and tip of snout.


Head dark with light bluish tinge; anterior tips of snout and lower jaw, skin around olfactory capsule whitish; oral cavity membrane black, branchial cavity dark brown, gill-arches and filaments grey. Body forward of pelvic-fin bases dark grey, slightly lighter on belly; posterior half of body paler brown with scattered tiny black spots. Fins with transparent unpigmented membranes between fin-rays; pigment cells concentrated along rays, fainter near base and along distal margins. Anus surrounded by narrow ring of black skin.

Species Citation

Mirognathus normani Parr 1951, American Museum Novitates 1531: 4. Type locality: South Atlantic [48°26´S, 22°10´W], depth 1500-1600 m.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Beaked Slickhead, Mirognathus normani Parr 1951


Krefft, G. 1985: Alepocephalidae (Osteichthyes, Argentinoidei) dreierreisen der Fischereiforschungsschiffe "Anton Dohrn" und "Walter Herwig" in den Nordatlantik. Archiv fur Fischereiwissenschaft 36 (1/2): 213-233.

Markle, D.F. & Quéro, J.-C. 1984. Family Alepocephalidae. pp. 228-253, in Whitehead, P.J.P. et al. (eds). Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Paris : UNESCO Vol. 1 510 pp. figs.

Markle, D.F. & Sazonov, Yu. I. 1990. Alepocephalidae (pp. 246-264). In: Quéro, J.-C., Hureau, J.-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds) 1990. Check-list of the Fishes of the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Paris : UNESCO 1492 pp., 3 vols.

Parr, A.E. 1951. Preliminary revision of the Alepocephalidae, with the introduction of a new family, Searsidae. American Museum Novitates 1531: 1-21.

Poulsen, JY, PR Møller, S Lavoué, SW Knudsen, M Nishida, M Miya. 2009. Higher and lower-level relationships of the deep-sea fish order Alepocephaliformes ( Teleostei : Otocephala ) inferred from whole mitogenome sequences. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 98(4): 923-936 DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01323.x PDF available open access

Sazonov, Y.I. & Last, P.R. 2000. Redescription of the rare slickhead Mirognathus normani (Salmoniformes: Alepocephalidae) with the first record from the western South Pacific. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 34(2): 385-389. PDF open access

Sazonov, Y.I. & Williams, A. 2001. A review of the alepocephalid fishes (Argentiniformes, Alepocephalidae) from the continental slope of Australia: Part I. Journal of Ichthyology 41(suppl. 1): 1-36. 

Williams, A. & Stewart, A.L. 2015. Family Alepocephalidae. pp. 354-376 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37114015

Depth:1500-3000 m


Max Size:22 cm SL

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