Chun's Telescopefish, Gigantura chuni Brauer 1901

Other Names: Gigantura

Illustration of the holotype of Chun's Telescopefish, Gigantura chuni, from Gulf of Guinea, 2°56'05"N, 3°27'05"E, Valdivia station 55. Source: from Chun (1900) Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres / Wikimedia Commons. License: Public Domain

A deep-sea predator with a scaleless silvery body, forward-directed tubular eyes with very large lenses, and a long ribbon-like tail. Telescopefishes swim vertically in the water column, using their huge eyes to detect the silhouetes of prey above. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Gigantura chuni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Chun's Telescopefish, Gigantura chuni Brauer 1901

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Off Dampier, Western Australia. Eslewhere the species mostly inhabits deep, tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans between 18°N-21°S. Larvae are commonly caught between 30-170 m and adults can be found between 500-1,500 m.


Meso-/bathypelagic predators that swim vertically, head up, in the open ocean. They use their its huge forward-directed eyes to detect the silhouettes of prey swimming above. Telescopefishes have reduced skeletal elements enabling them to engulf fishes much larger than themselves.


Chun's Telescopefish is a synchronous hermaphrodite, and has an extended larval stage in epipelagic waters before metamorphosis. The larval metamorphose at lengths between 2.5-3.4 cm SL (Jackson 2002).


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Chun's Telescopefish, Gigantura chuni Brauer 1901


Brauer, 1901. Über einige von der Valdivia-Expedition gesammelten Tiefseefische und ihre Augen. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Gesamten Naturwissenschaften du Marburg 8: 115-130 figs 1-3

Brauer A. 1906. Die Tiefseefische. 1. Systematischer Teil. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer “Valdivia” 1898–1899. Jena: G. Fischer.

Jackson, T.L. 2002. Preliminary Guide to the Identification of the Early Life History Stages of Giganturid Fishes of the Western Central North Atlantic.Miami, FL. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-484, 13 pp. 

Johnson, R.K. 1986. Giganturidae. p. 273-274. In M.M. Smith & P.C. Heemstra (eds) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Johnson, R.K. & Bertelsen, E. 1991. The fishes of the family Giganturidae: systematics, distribution and aspects of biology. Dana Report, Carlsberg Foundation 91: 1-45.

Konstantinidis, P. & Johnson, G.D. 2016. Osteology of the telescopefishes of the genus Gigantura (Brauer, 1901), Teleostei: Aulopiformes. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12469 PDF Open access

Nunoo, F., Russell, B., Poss, S. & Bannermann, P. 2015. Gigantura chuni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13462737A15603175. Downloaded on 22 August 2017.

Regan CT. 1925. The fishes of the genus Gigantura, A. Brauer, based on the specimens collected in the Atlantic by the ‘Dana’ Expeditions, 1920–22. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 15: 53–59.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37139001

Biology:Synchronous hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:500-1500 m

Habitat:Mesopelagic & bathypelagic

Max Size:16 cm SL

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