Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    melanostomus
    Genus
    Chaunacops
    Family
    Chaunacidae
    Order
    Lophiiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to at least 10 cm in length.

Introduction

The Tadpole Coffinfish has a flabby body and long tail that are both covered with small spines. The species been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320 m to 1760 m.

The movie below, shows excellent footage of another species of Chaunacops (C. coloratus) at depths between 2600 m and 3600 m.

Identification

The Tadpole Coffinfish has a black mouth lining and an illicium on the snout that can be lowered into a groove.

The name melanostomus comes from the Greek melanos meaning black and stoma meaning mouth.

There are two genera in the family Chaunacidae; Chaunacops and Chaunax. Chaunacops differs from Chaunax by having a lower lateral line count, longer ilicium, a wider head, more widely spaced body spines and several skeletal characters.

Distribution

Tadpole Coffinfish have been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320 m to 1760 m.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Chaunacops melanostomus

Ozcam map of Tadpole Coffinfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=chaunacops%20melanostomus&zoom=off#mapView

References

  1. Bertelsen, E in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.
  2. Caruso, J.H. 1989. A review of the Indo-Pacific members of the deep-water chaunacid anglerfish genus Bathychaunax, with the description of a new species from the eastern Indian Ocean (Pisces: Lophiiformes). Bulletin of Marine Science. 45:574-579.
  3. Caruso, J.H., Ho, H-C. & T.W. Pietsch. 2006. Chaunacops Garman, 1899, a senior objective synonym of Bathychaunax Caruso, 1989 (Lophiiformes: Chaunacoidei: Chaunacidae). Copeia. 1: 120-121.