Animal Species:Deepsea Blackdevil, Melanocetus murrayi Günther, 1887
Deepsea Blackdevils live their sexually dimorphic lives the deepsea.
Standard Common Name
Murray's Abyssal Anglerfish
The Deepsea Blackdevil is a soft-bodied fish that lacks scales and pelvic fins. It has a large head and mouth, with long pointed teeth. There is a short illicium with a bulbous esca on the snout. Live fish are black.
Females grow to 12 cm in length but males only grow to 2 cm.
The species occurs worldwide in deep tropical and temperate waters. In Australia the species has been collected from scattered localities off north-western Western Australia, but is almost certainly more widespread.
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
The Deepsea Blackdevil is a bathypelagic species.
Mating and reproduction
The species is sexually dimorphic.
- Bertelsen, E., 1990. Melanocetidae. in Quero, J.C., Hureau, J.C., Karrer, C. Post, A. & L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. v-xxxii, 1-519.
- Bertelsen, E., & Pietsch, T.W. 1983. The Ceratioid Anglerfishes of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum. 35: 77-99.
- Paxton, J.R., D.F. Hoese, G.R. Allen & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Vol.7 Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Murray's Abyssal Anglerfish, Melanocetus murrayi, Melanocetidae, Deepsea Blackdevil, deepsea, soft-bodied, no scales, no pelvic fins, large head, large mouth, long pointed teeth, bulbous esca on snout, black, 10 cm - 30 cm, tropical water, temperate water, marine,