Banded Cucumberfish, Paraulopus balteatus Click to enlarge image
A Banded Cucumberfishh caught on hook and line by Dr Jock Keene at a depth of about 500 m, Brown's Mountain (seamount) south-east of Sydney, New South Wales, October 2012. Image: Hal Epstein
© Hal Epstein

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    balteatus
    Genus
    Paraulopus
    Family
    Paraulopidae
    Order
    Aulopiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to at least 32 cm (standard length).

Introduction

The Banded Cucumberfish was formally named in 2010 by Museum Victoria's Dr Martin Gomon. The species name 'balteatus' comes from Latin and means 'belted or banded'. This refers to the banding on the sides of the body.

Identification

The species looks similar to the Piedtip Cucumberfish, Paraulopus okamurai. In addition to differences in proportions and fin ray counts, the two species can be distinguished by their colour patterns. As its name suggests the Banded Cucumberfish has distinct bands on the body compared with brown blotches on the body of the Piedtip Cucumberfish. In addition the dorsal fin of P. balteatus has a distinct white margin and an obvious dark sub-marginal band.



Distribution

The species occurs in the Tasman Sea at depths between 300 m and 800 m.

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



References

  1. Gomon, M.F. 2010. A new species of Paraulopus (Aulopiformes: Paraulopidae) from seamounts of the Tasman Sea. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 67: 15–18.