Christmas Longfin, Steeneichthys nativitatis Allen 1987

A Christmas Longfin, Steeneichthys nativitatis, at Amsterdam Island, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A small brown longfin with a series of fine darker stripes along the side, and uniformly brown fins with a white margin on the dorsal and pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Steeneichthys nativitatis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2024,

Christmas Longfin, Steeneichthys nativitatis Allen 1987

More Info


Australian Territory of Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in Indonesia.
Inhabits reef crevices and holes at depths of 15-40 m.


Dorsal fin IX, 9; Anal fin III, 7; Pectoral fin 16; Pelvic fin I, 4; Tubed lateral-line scales 1; Midlateral scale series 24; Gill rakers (total first arch) 12.
Body depth at dorsal-fin origin 2.7 in SL.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Steeneichthys plesiopsus in having 16 pectoral-fin rays and 12 gill rakers on the first arch (17-18 and 10-11 respectively in S. plesiopsus).  S. plesiopsus also has faint vertical bars on the head and body, S. nativitatis has narrow horizontal stripes; the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins have prominent light and dark bands in P. plesiopsus and are uniform brown in P. nativiatis.


The specific name is from nativitas (Latin) the nativity, referring to the type locality of Christmas Island.

Species Citation

Steeneichthys nativitatis Allen 1987, Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 13, fig. 1. Type locality: near Smith Point, Christmas Island [10°26'S, 105°40'E].


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Christmas Longfin, Steeneichthys nativitatis Allen 1987


Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part. 4. A new species of Steeneichthys (Plesiopidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 13-14 DOI PDF available, open access

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their relatives. A comprehensive guide to selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. Chorleywood, UK : TMC Publishing 1, 216 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37316022

Depth:15-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.2 cm TL

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