Waitt's Dragonfish, Photonectes waitti Flynn & Klepadlo 2012

Paratype of Photonectes waitti, NMV A 30906-005, 51 mm SL. Source: David Paul / Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A dragonfish with no blue luminous tissue, short gill filaments on the first arch (length less than depth of arch), two large bulbs in a series on the chin barbel, and a tiny bulb at the end of the filament.  
Freshly caught specimens are dark brown to black with narrow black lateral bands in line with the PV, VAV and AC photophores. These lateral bands may arbour minute secondary photophores and luminous patches. Under white light, the bulbs on the chin barbel are lavender to pink.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Photonectes waitti in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5193

Waitt's Dragonfish, Photonectes waitti Flynn & Klepadlo 2012

More Info


Recorded from the Coral Sea, (16 34 S, 147 08 E), at a depth of 330 m. The species occurs elsewhere the Central Pacific (vicinity of Hawaii), and the northwestern Indian Ocean (Gulf of Aden).


Dorsal fin 11-14; Anal fin 12-16; IV photophores 38-39; PV photophores 24-25. 

Similar Species

Differs from other species in the subgenus Photonectes in having the following combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays 11-14, anal-fin rays 12-16; IV photophores 38-39, PV photophores 24-25; no blue luminous tissue; reduced length of gill filaments on first branchial arch, less than depth of gill arch; barbel with 2 large bulbs in series; two large bulbs in series and a tiny bulb at the end of the filament. Photonectes waitti differs from P. mirabilis and P. phyllopogon in having 11-14 dorsal-fin rays (vs. 16-17 and 20-23, respectively), 12-16 anal-fin rays (vs. 19-20 and 22-25, respectively), and 38-39 IV photophores (vs. 33-34 and 30-31, respectively); from P. coffea in having gill filaments on first gill arch reduced (vs. very long, extending beyond gill opening), PV photophores 24-25 (vs. 29-31); from P. achirus, P. caerulescens, and P. mirabilis in lacking blue luminous tissue (Flynn & Klepadlo 2012)


Named in recognition of Theodore (Ted) Waitt, the founder of the Waitt Family Foundation and the Waitt Institute. The Waitt Institute sponsored and directed the expedition of the R/V Seward Johnson to the equatorial western Pacific Ocean (Catalyst II expedition) during which this species was collected.

Species Citation

Photonectes waitti Flynn & Klepadlo 2012, Mem. Mus. Vict. 69: 259-267. Type locality: 0°34.836' - 35.329'N, 176°56.432' - 49.956'W, Indo-Pacific.


Dianne J. Bray

Waitt's Dragonfish, Photonectes waitti Flynn & Klepadlo 2012


Flynn, A.J. & Klepadlo, C. 2012. Two new species of Photonectes (Teleostei: Stomiidae) from the Indo-Pacific, and a re-examination of P. achirus. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 69: 259-267. PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37109041


Depth:0-1200 m


Max Size:7.4 cm SL

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