Blueband Whiptail, Coelorinchus matamua (McCann & McKnight 1980)

Other Names: Blue Banded Whiptail, Large-headed Whiptail, Mahia Rattail, Mahia Whiptail

Coelorinchus-matamua. Source: Coelorinchus-matamua. License:

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Bray, D.J. & G. Frankham, Coelorinchus matamua in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Blueband Whiptail, Coelorinchus matamua (McCann & McKnight 1980)

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Circumglobal in temperate waters off Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa and the southern tip of South America; benthopelagic on the continental slope at depths between 450-1000 m.


D II, 8-10; P 16-19; V 7; GR 11-13; PC 18-34
Head and body deep, compressed, head large, ridges well-defined, eye large, longer than snout and postorbital length; snout short, bluntly pointed, tipped with small tubercle, anterolateral margin incompletely supported by bone, area dorsally behind leading edge scaled; suborbital region almost vertical, head scaled, including most of nasal fossa; mouth large, upper jaw longer than snout, jaw teeth small in tapering bands, outer row on premaxilla slightly enlarged. Dorsal fins well separated, second spinous ray of first dorsal fin not prolonged.Body scales large, with 8-11 or more slightly divergent rows of small spinules. Light organ small, indistinct globular gland adjacent to anus, not externally visible.


A large species reaching a total length of 65 cm.


Head dark, trunk encircled by prominent dark violet to bluish band, tail pale to dusky; fins mostly black, posterior half to two-thirds of anal fin pale to dusky; mouth and gill cavities pale, lips and gill membranes black.


Carnivorous on fishes (myctophids) and invertebrates such as decapod crustaceans.


Of minor commercial importance, and frequently taken as bycatch in by trawlers fishing in deepwater off Tasmania; also abundant in continental slope waters off southern Africa.


Not assessed.

Species Citation

Mahia matamua McCann & McKnight, 1980, Mem. N.Z. Oceanogr. Inst. 61: 53, figs. 36-38, off Gisborne, New Zealand.


Bray, D.J. & G. Frankham

Blueband Whiptail, Coelorinchus matamua (McCann & McKnight 1980)


Iwamoto, T.  & P.J. McMillan. 2008. Macrouridae. In Gomon, M.F., D.J. Bray & R.H. Kuiter. Fishes of Australia‚Äôs 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.

McCann, C. & McKnight, D.G. 1980. The marine fauna of New Zealand: macrourid fishes. (Pisces : Gadida). Mem. N.Z. Oceanogr. Inst. 61: 1-91, figs. 1-69.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37232017


Depth:450-1125 m



Max Size:650

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