Smooth Handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis (Cuvier 1817)


Preserved holotype of the Smooth Handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis - MNHN A 4630, 43.8 mm SL, from Tasmania. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

Summary:
A strongly compressed handfish with rough skin and no warty protuberances or dermal appendages on the head or body. The preserved holotype has darker markings on the first dorsal fin and membranes of the pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins. In the original description it was described as being reddish-brown marbled with darker brown.
The Smooth Handfish is known only from the holotype that was collected by zoologist François Péron during Nicolas Baudin's 1800-1803 expedition to Australia. Unfortunately, this species is now considered by be extinct by the IUCN (Last et al. 2020)

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Sympterichthys unipennis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Sep 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/4324

Smooth Handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis (Cuvier 1817)

More Info


Distribution

Tasmania, precise locality unknown.

Features

Dorsal fin II + 17; Anal fin 9; Pectoral fin 9; Pelvic fin i, 4; Caudal fin 1+7+1 = 9; Vertebrae 9+13=22.
Body moderately elongate, head and body strongly compressed; illicium thick based, thin distally, without dermal spinules; esca a simple filament, minute (possibly damaged); scale bases variable in shape, dendritic to narrowly thallate, with long unicuspid or bifurcate spinules.
Second dorsal-fin base in base 64% SL; length of second dorsal-fin spine 1.3 times length of longest ray of second dorsal fin.
Skin rough, body densely covered inclose-set, embedded, nonimbricate, spiny scales; scale bases variable in shape, dendritic to narrowly thallate, with long unicuspid or bifurcate spinules (except for those closely associated with pores of the acoustico-lateralis system); spinules adpressed, posteriorly directed, originating from posterior region of scale base, apical spines moderately divergent. No wart-like protuberances and dermal appendages on head or body.

Colour

In preservative, uniformly yellowish white with darker reddish-brown areas below and above the eyes, and on the pectoral, pelvic and caudal fin membranes; apices of first dorsal fin and anterior rays of second dorsal fin reddish brown; no evidence of vertical dark markings through base and posterior margin of caudal fin; membranes of dorsal and caudal fins translucent; eye bluish black. Its coloration after almost two decades in preservative was described by Cuvier (1817) as reddish brown mottled with darker brown

Species Citation

Chironectes unipennis Cuvier 1817, Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] 3: 435, pl. 18(3). Type locality: Australian seas [likely SE Tasmania].

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Smooth Handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis (Cuvier 1817)

References


Cuvier, G.L. 1817. Sur le genre Chironectes Cuv. (Antennarius Commerson). Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris [1936-1950] 3: 418-435 pls 16-18 See ref online

Cuvier, G. 1829. Le Règne Animal, distribué d'après son organisation, pour servir de base à l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction à l'anatomie comparée. Paris : Déterville Vol. 2, Edn 2, i-xv + pp. 1-406. (as Chironectes unipinnis)

Edgar, G.J., Stuart-Smith, R.D., Cooper, A., Jacques, M. & Valentine, J. 2016. New opportunities for conservation of handfishes (Family Brachionichthyidae) and other inconspicuous and threatened marine species through citizen science. Biological Conservation 208: 174-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.07028

Gill, T.N. 1878. Note on Antennariidae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 1(31): 221-222 (as Sympterichthys laevis)

Lacépède, B.G.E. 1804. Mémoire sur plusieurs animaux de la Nouvelle-Hollande dont la description n'a pas encore été publiée. Annales du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Paris 4: 184-211 pls 55-58 (described as Lophius laevis, an invalid name preoccupied by Lophis laevis Latrielle 1804)

Last, P.R., Edgar, G. & Stuart-Smith, R. 2020. Sympterichthys unipennis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123423283A123424374. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T123423283A123424374.en. Downloaded on 02 July 2020.

Last, P.R. & Gledhill, D.C. 2009. A revision of the Australian handfishes (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with descriptions of three new genera and nine new species. Zootaxa 2252: 1-77.

Last, P.R., Gledhill, D.C. & Holmes, B.H. 2007. A new handfish, Brachionichthys australis sp. nov. (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with a redescription of the critically endangered spotted handfish, B. hirsutus (Lacepède). Zootaxa 1666: 53-68

Last, P.R. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Brachionichthyidae: Handfishes. pp. 375-376 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Valenciennes, A. 1837. Des Chironectes (Chironectes, Cuv., Antennarius, Comm.). pp. 389–437 in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 12 507 pp. pls 344-368.

Whitley, G.P. 1936. Ichthyological genotypes: some supplementary remarks. The Australian Zoologist 8(3): 189-192 

Whitley, G.P. 1949. The handfish. Australian Museum Magazine 9(12): 398-403

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37209003

Conservation:IUCN Extinct

Habitat:Reef associated, soft bottoms

Max Size:4.4 cm SL

Native:Endemic

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