Pinocchio Whiptail, Coelorinchus mycterismus McMillan & Paulin 1993

Other Names: Upturned Snout Rattail

A Pinocchio Whiptail, Coelorinchus mycterismus, from the Lord Howe Rise, Tasman Sea. Source: NORFANZ Founding Parties. License: All rights reserved

A greyish-brown with a very sharply pointed and strongly upturned snout, no distinctive markings on body, anal fin dark anteriorly, posterior two-thirds pale, and the other fins greyish. Scales are present on the underside of the head and below the nostrils to the suborbital ridge.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Frankham, G. 2018, Coelorinchus mycterismus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024,

Pinocchio Whiptail, Coelorinchus mycterismus McMillan & Paulin 1993

More Info


Off Point Quobba to off North West Cape, Western Australia, and off Crowdy Head to east of Culburra, New South Wales; also on the Lord Howe Plateau and Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the temperate, south-west Pacific (New Zealand, south of New Caledonia).  Inhabits seamounts, ridges, rises and plateaus.


Dorsal fin II, 7-9; Pectoral fin 16-19; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers 6-8; Branchiostegal rays 6.
Snout long, slender, slightly upturned with concave dorsal profile, tipped with large, sharp, diamond-shaped terminal scute. Mouth gape restricted laterally by lip folds, upper jaw teeth in broad short band, lower jaw teeth in narrow, more elongate band; chin barbel short. Head and snout completely scaled; nasal fossa with tiny, finely spinulated scales scattered only on ventral surfaces in most specimens; underside of head completely covered with small, mostly nonimbricate scales. Body scales with 4-7 parallel to slightly divergent rows of sharp spinules, those posterior to origin of second dorsal fin with more spinule rows than those on trunk. Light organ short, without visible external fossa.


A relatively large species reaching a total length of 49 cm.


In preservative: tawny to greyish brown; first dorsal fin dark dusky to blackish, other fins light dusky; abdomen bluish, dark colour not extending onto chest area; region surrounding anus somewhat darker than adjacent areas; mouth and gill cavities black, gums dusky to pale, upper and lower lips narrowly blackish, usually pale laterally; barbel pale, branchiostegal membrane blackish posteriorly and dorsally, but paler ventrally over gular membrane.




Of no commercial importance, although the species may be taken as bycatch in commercial trawl fisheries in parts of its range..


IUCN: Least Concern

Species Citation

Caelorinchus mycterismus McMillan & Paulin 1993, Copeia 1993(3): 827, fig. 6, Challenger Plateau off NewZealand, 37°39.8-41.8'S, 169°07.1-07.6'E.


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


Australian Faunal Directory

Pinocchio Whiptail, Coelorinchus mycterismus McMillan & Paulin 1993


Iwamoto, T. 2010. Coelorinchus mycterismus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154962A4678118. Downloaded on 22 February 2018.

Iwamoto, T. & Graham, K.J. 2001. Grenadiers (Families Bathygadidae and Macrouridae, Gadiformes, Pisces) of New South Wales, Australia. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 52(21): 407-509 figs 1-114.

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 

McMillan, P.J. & Paulin, C.D. 1993. Descriptions of nine new species of rattails of the genus Caelorinchus (Pisces, Macrouridae) from New Zealand. Copeia 1993(3): 819-840. (as Caelorinchus mycterismus)

Merrett, N.R. & T. Iwamoto. 2000. Pisces Gadiformes: Grenadier fishes of the New Caledonian region, southwest Pacific Ocean. Taxonomy and distribution, with ecological notes, pp. 723-781 In Crosnier, R. (ed.) Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, 21. Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 184.

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279 

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.

Williams, A., Last, P.R., Gomon, M.F. & Paxton, J.R. 1996. Species composition and checklist of the demersal ichthyofauna of the continental slope off Western Australia (20–35º). Records of the Western Australian Museum 18: 135-155.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232112


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:800-2000 m


Max Size:49 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map