PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Ribbonfish 

Trachipterus arawatae Clarke, 1881

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 145-185
Caudal fin rays: 8 + 5
Pectoral fin rays: 9-11
Ventral fin spines/rays: 5
Gill rakers: (lower limb) 10
Vertebrae: 81-83

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A very diverse group of oceanic fishes with either deep and compressed, or elongate and often ribbon-like bodies. All have a unique form of highly protrusible upper jaw. Some species are best known from specimens washed ashore.

Family level detail.
Striking, deepwater oceanic fishes with long ribbon-like bodies and highly protrusible mouths. They undergo remarkable changes between larval stages and adulthood.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Lampridiformes
Family:
Trachipteridae
Genus:
Trachipterus
Species:
arawatae

General Description

Body long, very compressed, deep anteriorly, tapering to a very narrow tail base; eyes large, mouth very protrusible; dorsal fin long-based, extending from top of head to tail, with a high crest at the front in young, crest reducing in size and finally lost with growth; pelvic fins long and fan-like in juveniles, reduced to small tubercles in adults; anal fin absent. Body silvery, partly transparent; juveniles with several large black blotches on either side, usually 3-4 above lateral line, 1-2 below; fins scarlet. To more than 2 m.

Biology

These fishes are most often taken in deepwater trawls, but are occasionally sighted at the ocean surface or found stranded ashore after storms.

Habitat

Usually pelagic in deeper oceanic waters, to depth of 1000 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

South-western Pacific Ocean, including Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Ribbonfishes

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 m

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Southern Ribbonfish, Trachipterus arawatae, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6325

Text: creative commons cc by licence