Brilliant Lightfish, Polymetme illustris McCulloch 1926

Illustration of a Brilliant Lightfish, Polymetme illustris. Source: McCulloch 1926 Report on some fishes obtained by the F. I. S. "Endeavour". License: Public Domain

A lightfish with a dark brown back distinctly separated from the silvery sides, and a blackish gill cover.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Polymetme illustris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Sep 2020,

Brilliant Lightfish, Polymetme illustris McCulloch 1926

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia from southern New South Wales to the Great Australian Bight off southern Australia.
The species is benthopelagic at depths to more than 800 m.


Dorsal fin 10–12; adipose; Anal fin 27–31; Pectoral fin 9–11; Pelvic fin 7; Gill rakers 18; Branchiostegal rays 12–14.Photophores: ORB 1, OP 3, SO 1, BR 9–10, IV 21, VAV 7–8, AC 18, IC 50–52, OA 9–10.  
Body depth 15–18% SL; head length 21–26% SL; eye diameter 4–6% SL.  Length: to 26 cm.  

Species Citation

Polymetme illustris McCulloch 1926, Biol. Results ‘Endeavour’ 5(4): 167, Pl. 45 (fig. 1) Great Australian Bight southwest of Eucla, Western Australia, 350–450 fms.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Brilliant Lightfish, Polymetme illustris McCulloch 1926


Harold, A.S. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Phosichthyidae Lightfishes, pp. 235-239 in  in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

McCulloch, A.R. 1926. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 5. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 5(4): 157-216 figs 1-5 pls 43-56 

Parin, N.V. & Borodulina, O.D. 1990. Review of the genus Polymetme (Photichthyidae) with the description of two new species. Voprosy Ikhtiologii 30(5): 733-743

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37106027


Depth:230-822 m


Max Size:15 cm SL


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