Blotch Whiptail , Coelorinchus maculatus Gilbert & Hubbs 1920

Blotch Whiptail, Coelorinchus maculatus, from off northwestern Australia. Source: Museums Victoria. License: CC BY Attribution

A small silvery whiptail with a vertically elongate dark blotch with a pale margin above and behind the pectoral fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2018, Coelorinchus maculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024,

Blotch Whiptail , Coelorinchus maculatus Gilbert & Hubbs 1920

More Info


Northwest Shelf and SW of Rowley Shoals,Western Australia, to south of Cartier Reef, Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific: Philippines, Moluccas, Indonesia. 


Dorsal fin II, 8-9; Pectoral fin 14-16; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers (inner) 7-8; Branchiostegal rays 6. 
Snout relatively short, acutely pointed in lateral view, broadly convex sides in dorsal view with small terminal scute, anterolateral margin completely supported by bone. Mouth small, upper jaw extending to below hind third of orbit. Underside of head completely naked with broad, naked translucent areas dorsally behind leading edges of snout; nasal fossa naked. 

Body scales large, thin, rather deciduous, with small, sharp spinules aligned in 3-4 ridgelike rows; scale pockets on dorsal surfaces darkly marked along edges. Scales of head ridges relatively weak and moderately spinulated. Anterior rays of second dorsal fin relatively well developed. Anus before anal-fin origin by several scale rows. 

Light organ extending forward from naked periproct region around anus to a line connecting bases of outer pelvic fins or slightly beyond, visible externally as a black streak, slightly expanded anterior end forming shallow scale-covered fossa.


A small species reaching a length of more than 26 cm.


Chest and abdomen, dark bluish/black ventrally, sides silvery to whitish; small to moderately large, vertically elongated dark blotch above and immediately behind base of pectoral fin; numerous faint saddle marks posteriorly; most fins light dusky, elongated spinous dorsal ray blackish; pelvic fins dusky to blackish with outer ray paler, median nasal process dark.


Of no commercial importance.



The specific name maculatus is Latin for spotted in reference to the large blackish spot located just above and behind the pectoral fin.

Species Citation

Coelorinchus (Paramacrurus) maculatus Gilbert & Hubbs 1920, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 100(7): 446, fig. 9. Type locality: off south Luzon Island, Batangas Bay, between Gillolo and Makyan Island, Philippines, Albatross sta. 5621, 214-298 fathoms.


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


Australian Faunal Directory

Blotch Whiptail , Coelorinchus maculatus 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 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. 

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. Families Macrouridae, Bathylagidae, Moridae, Bregmacerotidae. pp. 1986-1998 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

 Iwamoto, T. & Graham, K.J. 2008. Two new Australian grenadiers of the Coelorinchus fasciatus species group (Macrouridae: Gadiformes: Teleostei). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 4 59(5): 133-146 

Iwamoto, T. & Williams, A. 1999. Grenadiers (Pisces, Gadiformes) from the continental slope of western and northwestern Australia. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 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:37232044


Depth:390-600 m


Max Size:26 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map