Flaming Flagfin, Hime pyrhistion Gomon, Struthers & Stewart 2013

Other Names: Japanese Threadsail

Japanese Threadsail, Hime pyrhistion, holotype, male, NMNZ P.054047, from off the Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand. Source: Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. License: All rights reserved

A moderately large threadsail with a pale yellowish-tan to reddish-brown body becoming silvery white below, covered in bright red blotches and spots, three broad irregular oblique bands in the sides, pale dorsal, anal and caudal fins, with pink to orange bands across the caudal-fin lobes. Males have bright red to orange or yellow spots on the dorsal fin, a broad yellow stripe on the basal part of the anal fin, and a broad yellow horizontal stripe on each caudal-fin lobe.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Hime pyrhistion in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4908

Flaming Flagfin, Hime pyrhistion Gomon, Struthers & Stewart 2013

More Info


Coral Sea off eastern Australia from Innisfail and Lihou Reef, Queensland, to off Sydney, New South Wales; also the Lord Howe Rise and the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in northeastern New Zealand and the Kermadec Ridge.  
Inhabits seamounts, ridges and rises in the Tasman Sea.


Dorsal fin 15-17; Anal fin 9-11; Pectoral fin 10-11; Pelvic fin 9; Vertebrae 42-43; Gill rakers 3-5 + 11-16 = 15–20 total; Lateral line scales 41–43 + 1; Scale rows above lateral line 4.5; Scale rows below lateral line 4.5; Predorsal scales 12-16 (rarely 18); Pyloric caecae 11.

Dorsal fin of males large and sail-like anteriorly, with deeply incised membranes without filamentous rays, third to fifth rays longest, reaching 36.5% SL, decreasing in length to middle of fin with posterior rays progressively longer, reaching 23.4% SL, posterior lobe reaching to or past adipose fin origin; anterior end of dorsal fin lower in females, membranes deeply incised with rays decreasing in length to middle of fin, lengths of subsequent rays subequal; posterior lobe reaching little more than half way to hypural crease. Anal fin relatively deep in males, posterior lobe approaching approaching hypural crease in large individuals; anal fin smaller in females, posterior lobe reaching little more than half way to hypural crease.


Males: Head and body tan to pink above, white below with three brown double bands on upper side and a row of uneven-sized dark pink to mauve blotches just below lateral midline. Dorsal fin with a subdistal reddish to orange band or row of spots anteriorly in raised portion of fin, and a row of fainter orange spots behind and below; distal margin of fin broad, mostly white; basal half of fin with two rows of large orange-edged yellow spots. Anal fin white with a broad yellow stripe on basal half of fin. Caudal fin white with a broad horizontal stripe from fleshy base on each lobe, lower lobe crossed with about two broad yellow bands, upper lobe crossed with three or four narrower orange bands, last just below white lobe tip. Pelvic fins whitish with faint yellow to orange bands or rows of spots, especially at base.
Females: Head and body similar to that of males, usually with a distinct dark brown horizontally-aligned double blotch at ventral end of anteriormost band on side. Dorsal fin with several horizontal rows of large reddish or reddish-orange spots, distal margin of fin white, broadest anteriorly. Unpaired fins without yellow markings. Caudal, pelvic and sometimes anal fins crossed with usually faint orange bands, darkest near tip of upper caudal lobe.


The specific name pyrhistion is from the Greek pyr (= red) and histion (= sail), in reference to the characteristic colourful red and yellow patterned dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Hime pyrhistion Gomon, Struthers & Stewart 2013, Zootaxa 4044(3): Type locality: western side of the Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand, 35°28'S, 174°42'E.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Flaming Flagfin, Hime pyrhistion Gomon, Struthers & Stewart 2013


Amaoka, K., Matsuura, K., Inada, T., Takedam, M., Hatanaka, H. & Okada, K. (eds). 1990. Fishes Collected by the R/V Shinkai Maru around New Zealand. Japan Marine Fishery Resource Research Center, Tokyo, 410 pp. (p. 126 + fig., as Hime sp.)

Clark, M.R. & Roberts, C.D. 2008. Fish and invertebrate biodiversity on the Norfolk Ridge and Lord Howe Rise, Tasman Sea (NORFANZ voyage, 2003). New Zealand Aquatic Environment and Biodiversity Report 28: 1–131 (as Hime NFZ 1 in appendix 4 + unnumbered fig.)

Gomon, M.F. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. Three new fishes of the Indo-Pacific fish genus Hime (Aulopidae, Aulopiformes), all resembling the type species H. japonica (Günther 1877). Zootaxa 4044(3): 371-390.

Gomon, M.F., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. Family Aulopidae. pp. 538-540 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Gomon, M.F., Struthers, C.D. & Stewart, A.L. 2013. A new genus and two new species of the family Aulopidae (Aulopiformes), commonly referred to as Aulopus, flagfins, Sergeant Bakers or Threadsails, in Australasian waters. Species Diversity 18: 141-161

Parin, N.V. & Kotlyar, A.N. 1989. A new aulopodid species, Hime microps, from the eastern South Pacific, with comments on geographic variations of H. japonica. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 35(4): 407-413 (Tasman Sea specimens as Hime japonica)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37117005

Depth:80-510 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:27 cm SL

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