Spottyface Whiptail, Coelorinchus acanthiger Barnard 1925

Other Names: Surgeon Grenadier

A Spottyface Whiptail, Coelorinchus acanthiger. Source: Ken J. Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G.J. 2017, Coelorinchus acanthiger in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Spottyface Whiptail, Coelorinchus acanthiger Barnard 1925

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Widespread in temperate waters of the southern Indo-West Pacific; known from off South Africa, Réunion (Mascarenes), and east across the Indian Ocean to southern Australia and New Zealand; bathydemersal on the continental slope at depths between 520-1500 m; collected in Australian waters at depths between 520-1170 m, most commonly between 800-1100 m.


Dorsal fin II, 8-9; Pectoral fin 17-19; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers (first arch) 8-9; Branchiostegal rays 6; Pyloric caecae 9-13.

Head relatively large, eye large; snout long, pointed, longer than orbit, tipped with a sharp, narrow scute, anterolateral margin incompletely supported by bone; mouth small, inferior, upper jaw extends to below mid-orbit; teeth in bands in both jaws, band in upper jaw shorter than lower jaw band; chin barbel short.

Body scales coarse, with one to three ridge-like rows of parallel to slightly divergent, overlapping spinules, each spinule recurved and blade-like. Light organ small, length equal to anterior nostril, visible as a naked fossa immediately before the anus.


This large species reaches a total length of 50 cm.


Overall brownish, mouth, gill covers, gill membranes, gill cavities and fins darker.


Of no interest to commercial fisheries.


Species Citation

Coelorhynchus acanthiger Barnard, 1925, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (9)15(88): 502. Type locality: off Cape Point, South Africa.


Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G.J. 2017

Spottyface Whiptail, Coelorinchus acanthiger Barnard 1925


Iwamoto, T. & P.J. McMillan. 2008. Macrouridae. In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. Fishes of Australia’s Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers & Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. 1-928p.

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232042


Depth:300-1200 m


Max weight:50 cm TL

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