Spiny Whiptail, Coelorinchus parallelus (Günther 1877)

Other Names: Spiny Grenadier

Coelorinchus-parallelus. Source: Coelorinchus-parallelus. License:

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Dianne J Bray, Coelorinchus parallelus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4352

Spiny Whiptail, Coelorinchus parallelus (Günther 1877)

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Indo-West Pacific; known from off southern Japan, Korea, East China Sea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand; benthopelagic on the continental slope at 630-990 m.


D II, 8-9; P 17-18; V 7; GR (inner) 8; BR 6; PC
Snout long, acuminate, ending in sharp spinous scute, anterolateral margins incompletely supported by bone; mouth inferior, sides slightly restricted by lip folds; jaw teeth short, fine, none enlarged, those on upper jaw in broad short band, lower jaw teeth in long narrow bands; chin barbel small, slender. Underside of head with tiny scales armed with a single crestlike row of tall spinules; top of snout completely scaled; nasal fossa with a few minute scales. Body scales with broad-based bladelike, spinules in 6-9 parallel rows. First dorsal fin rather low, pectoral and pelvic fins short, anal fin well developed. Anus immediately before anal-fin origin. Light organ immediately before anus, scarcely developed, wihtout an external dermal window or dark median-ventral black streak.


Reaches a total length of 48 cm.


In preservative: Overall medium to light brownish to greyish. In small specimens, the abdomen is light bluish fins dusky but anal somewhat blackish distally; in larger specimens, the abdomen is only faintly darker than surrounding areas. Mouth bluish-grey to black, lips dark or blackish, gill cavity and peritoneum also blackish, barbel pale, gular membranes darkish to pale, branchiostegal membrane blackish dorsally. Orbit with narrow blackish margin dorsally. Septum separating anterior and posterior nostrils blackish.


Carnivorous on fishes such as lanternfishes (Family Myctophidae).


Of minor commercial value, occasionally taken as bycatch in commercial trawls.


Not assessed.

Species Citation

Macrurus parallelus Günther 1877, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4)20(56):  439, off Inoshima, Japan, Challenger sta. 232, 345 fms.


Dianne J Bray

Spiny Whiptail, Coelorinchus parallelus (Günther 1877)


Bray, D.J. , D.F. Hoese, J.R. Paxton & J.E. Gates. 2006. Macrouridae (pp. 581-607). In: Hoese, D.F., D.J. Bray, G.R. Allen, J.R. Paxton, P.L. Beesley & A. Wells (Eds.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. Fishes. CSIRO Publishing & the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), 3 vols., 2248 pp.

Iwamoto, T. & N.R. Merrett. (1997). Pisces Gadiformes; Taxonomy of Grenadiers of the New Caledonian region, southwest Pacific. In Crosnier, A (ed.), Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, Volume 18.  Mém. Mus. natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 176: 473-570.

Merrett, N. R. & T. Iwamoto. 2000. Pisces Gadiformes: Grenadier fishes of the New Caledonian region, southwest Pacific Ocean. Taxonomy and distribution, with ecological notes. In Crosnier, R. (ed). Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, 21. Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 184: 723-781.

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CAAB Code:37232122

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