Shortarse Feelerfish, Bathymicrops brevianalis Nielsen 1966

A Shortarse Feelerfish, Bathymicrops brevianalis, from off southern Queensland. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A very slender spiderfish with relatively short fins, deciduous scales, and very small reduced eyes.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Bathymicrops brevianalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,

Shortarse Feelerfish, Bathymicrops brevianalis Nielsen 1966

More Info


Off southern Queensland, and the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia; also off Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is known from the Indo-west Pacific: Western Indian Ocean off Madagascar, Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, the Kermadec Trench off New Zealand, and east of American Samoa. Inhabits soft sediment areas on abyssal plains and in deep-sea trenches at depths below 4000 m.


Dorsal fin 8-9; Anal fin 9-10; Pectoral fin 10-11; Pelvic fin 7; Vertebrae 75-80; Lateral line scales ~70; Branchiostegal rays 9-10; Gill rakers 10-12.
Body long, slender, abdomen flattened; anus and genital papilla much closer to pelvic-fin base than to anal fin. Head depressed, broader than high; skull transparent, brain visible through bones; eyes positioned deep within head, covered with skin and scales; nasal openings situated closer to eyes than to tip of snout; lower jaw slightly protruding; premaxillaries very long, 75% HL; branchiostegal membranes free of isthmus; gill slits very long, extending midway between vertical through eye and symphysis of lower jaw; teeth absent from endopterygoid. Scales deciduous, cycloid, circular, those on the ventral edge of the caudal peduncle twisted, giving a serrated appearance. Lateral line indistinct, running along body middle to base of caudal peduncle.
Anterior dorsal-fin ray somewhat closer to snout than to caudal-fin base, rays similar in length to pelvic-fin rays; all dorsal-fin rays except first branched; last dorsal and anal fin rays split to base. Anal fin commences closer to caudal-fin base than to the anus. Pectoral fin shorter than pelvic fin, all rays unbranched; prepelvic length 25.5 % SL; anterior dorsal-fin ray positioned above vertebrae 31-33.


Feeds on small crustaceans and squids.


Spiderfishes (family Ipnopidae) are simultaneous hermaphrodites. Individuals have an ovotestis containing functional male and female reproductive tissue. 


The specific name brevianalis is from the Latin brevis (= short) and analis (= anal, of the anus) in reference to the short anal fin of this species, compared with that of Bathymicrops regis (9-10 anal-fin rays, vs. 12-15 in B. regis). 

Species Citation

Bathymicrops brevianalis Nielsen 1966, Galathea Report 8: 65, fig. 10. Type locality: Kermadec Trench, New Zealand (32°10' S, 175°54' W), 5850–5900 m


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Shortarse Feelerfish, Bathymicrops brevianalis Nielsen 1966


Gomon, M.F. 2015. 80 Family Ipnopidae. pp. 562-565 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). 2015. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 2 pp. 1-576.

Nielsen, J.G. 1966. Synopsis of the Ipnopidae (Pisces, Iniomi) with description of two new abyssal species. Galathea Report 8: 49-75, Pls. 14-16. Ref available online

Nielsen, J.G. & Merrett, N.R. 1992. Taxonomy and biology of Hjort & Koefoed, 1912 (Pisces, Ipnopidae) with description of two new species. Steenstrupia 18(9): 149-167.

Paulin, C.D., Stewart, A..L., Roberts, C.D. & McMillan, P.J. 1989. New Zealand fish: A complete guide. [National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19]. Wellington, GP Books. xiv + 279 p., 8 pls.

Paxton, J.R. & Niem, V.H. 1999. Families Aulopidae, Chlorophthalmidae, Ipnopidae, Scopelarchidae, Notosudidae. pp. 1919-1927 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Russell, B., Holleman, W., Fennessy, S. & Maunde, C. 2020. Bathymicrops brevianalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123323253A123323655. Accessed on 12 August 2022.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37123012


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4000-5900 m

Habitat:Abyssal plain

Max Size:12 cm SL

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