Animal Species:Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey, 1873
The Thorny Tinselfish has a deep, compressed body that is covered with vertically elongated scales. It occurs in tropical and temperate marine waters
Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus
Photographer: NSW fisheries, Eden © NSW fisheries, Eden
Standard Common Name
The Thorny Tinselfish has a deep, compressed body that is covered with vertically elongated scales. It has a tiny mouth, large eyes, and small spines along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins.
Fish less than 25 cm in length usually have horizontally flattened scutes on the sides of the body. Larger fish lack scutes.
The Thorny Tinselfish is classified in the family Grammicolepididae, the Scaly Dories. This family contains two genera, each with a single species. The second species of grammicolepid is the Spotted Tinselfish Xenolepidichthys dalgleishi. This fish has less dorsal spines and rays (32-35 versus 39-41 in the Thorny Tinselfish) and lacks spiny scutes on the sides of the body.
The species grows to 64cm in length.
It is found in tropical and temperate marine waters. In Australia the Thorny Tinselfish is recorded from several localities off New South Wales.
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
It occurs at depths between 400 m and 800 m.
- Karrer, C., 1990. Grammicolepididae. in Quero J.C., Hureau, J.C., Karrer, C., Post A. and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. Pp. 634-635.
- Karrer, C & P.C. Heemstra. 1986 Grammicolepididae. In Smith's Sea Fishes. (eds) Smith. M.M. & P.C. Heemstra. Johannesburg, Macmillan South Africa. Pp. 440-441.
- Myers, G.S. 1937. The deep-sea Zeomorph Fishes of the family Grammicolepidae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 84 (3008): 145-156.
- 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. (as Daramattus americanus).
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Thorny Tinselfish, Grammicolepis brachiusculus, Grammicolepididae, deep body, compressed body, tropical water, temperate water, marine, elongated scales, tiny mouth, large eyes, 30 cm - 1 m,