Animal Species:Grey Knifefish, Bathystethus cultratus (Forster, 1801)
The Grey Knifefish is a compressed silvery-grey fish that occurs in Australia and New Zealand.
Standard Common Name
The Grey Knifefish is a compressed fish that has a low spinous dorsal fin, followed by a long-based soft-rayed dorsal fin. The second dorsal and anal fins are covered with scales. The body scales are silvery-grey. It lacks teeth.
The species grows to about 30 cm in length.
The species occurs in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it is known from northern to central New South Wales and from Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
Feeding and Diet
The Grey Knifefish is a fast swimmer that is usually seen near the surface feeding on plankton.
- Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F.,Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A.,Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. (1976). Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum. 30(15): 365-454.
- Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & P. McMillan. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19. Pp. 279.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology