Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    berndti
    Genus
    Polymixia
    Family
    Polymixiidae
    Order
    Polymixiiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The family comprises moderate sized fishes that grow to about 50 cm in length.

Introduction

The Beardfish lives in deep marine waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. It's commonly caught in ocean trawlers.

Identification

The species has large silver scales, a long-based dorsal fin and a pair of long chin barbels.

Habitat

The species usually lives in deep marine waters (18 m to 520 m) and is mostly seen in the catches of trawlers.

Distribution

It is recorded from tropical and subtropical marine waters of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. In Australia, the Beardfish has an interrupted distribution. It is found on the north-western coast of Western Australia and also occurs from northern Queensland to the southern coast of 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.

Polymixia berndti

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

References

  1. Gloerfelt-Tarp, T & P.J. Kailola. 1984. Trawled Fishes of southern Indonesia and north-western Australia. Jakarta: Directorate General of Fisheries (Indonesia), German Agency for Technical Cooperation, Australian Development Assistance Bureau. Pp. 406.
  2. Kotlyar, A.N. 1993. A New Species of the Genus Polymixia (Polymixiidae, Beryciformes) from the Kyushu-Palau Submarine Ridge and Notes on the Other Members of the Genus. Journal of Ichthyology, 33(3): 30-49.
  3. Paxton, J.R Polymixiidae. Beardfishes in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (ed) 1999 The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 3. FAO species identification guide for Fishery purposes. FAO.
  4. 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.