Bean's Bigscale, Scopelogadus beanii (Günther 1887)

Bean's Bigscale, Scopelogadus beanii. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A large dark brown to blackish bigscale with ridges of thin bones supporting deep mucous cavities on the head, a relatively long caudal peduncle and very large weakly attached cycloid scales that are often lost during capture.

Bean's Bigscale is one of the largest and deepest-dwelling melamphaid species. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Scopelogadus beanii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Bean's Bigscale, Scopelogadus beanii (Günther 1887)

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Recorded in Australia from off Broken Bay, New South Wales, to SW  VIC/SA border, and in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in tropical to subtropical waters of the North Atlantic, South Pacific, and Indian Oceans at mesopelagic and bathypelagic depths to 2500 m.


A recent shipboard video revealed that Bean's Bigscale is capable of rowing labriform propulsion.

Species Citation

Melamphaes beanii Günther, 1887, Rept Voy H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zool. 22(57): 29. [nom. nov. for Plectromus crassiceps Bean, 1885]. Type locality: North Atlantic [37°41´–41°41´N, 65°35´–73°04´W]


Dianne J. Bray

Bean's Bigscale, Scopelogadus beanii (Günther 1887)


Bean, T.H. 1885. Description of a new species of Plectromus (P. crassiceps) taken by the United States Fish Commission. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 8(486): 73-74

Bray, D. J.  2008. Family Melamphaidae. In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. New Holland Publishers. Melbourne, Australia. 928 pp. 

Ebeling, A.W. 1986. Melamphaidae. P. 427-432. In M.M. Smith & P.C. Heemstra (eds) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.  

Kenaley, C.P., A. Stote & B.E. Flammang. 2014. The morphological basis of labriform rowing in the deep-sea Bigscale Scopelogadus beanii (Percomorpha: Beryciformes). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461: 297–305.

Gartner, J.V. Jr. & J.A. Musick. 1989. Feeding habits of the deep-sea fish, Scopelogadus beanii (Pisces: Melamphaidae), in the western North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research 36(10):1457-1469.

Günther, A. 1887. Report on the deep-sea fishes collected by H.M.S Challenger during the years 1873–1876. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger 1873–1876, Zoology 22(57): 1-268 figs 1-7 pls 1-66

Mauchline, J. & J.D.M. Gordon. 1984. Occurrence and feeding of berycomorphid and percomorphid teleost fish in the Rockall Trough. J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer. 41: 239-247.

Maul, G.E. 1986. Melamphaidae. p. 756-765. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen & E. Tortonese (eds) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37251005

Depth:0-2500m (usually below 500m)

Habitat:Mesopelagic, bathypelagic

Max Size:12 cm SL

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