Common Redmouth Whalefish, Rondeletia loricata Click to enlarge image
A Common Redmouth Whalefish (AMS I.42718-001) caught during the NORFANZ expedition in a midwater trawl between the surface and 2000m, north-west of Norfolk Island, Tasman Sea, May 2003. The pink areas on the nape and cheek are missing the overlying skin. This damage was caused by the trawl net. Image: Mark McGrouther
© NORFANZ

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    loricata
    Genus
    Rondeletia
    Family
    Rondeletiidae
    Order
    Stephanoberyciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 11 cm in length.

Introduction

The Common Redmouth Whalefish has a flabby scaleless body. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities are coloured red-orange.

Identification

The Common Redmouth Whalefish has a flabby scaleless body with a large head with small eyes. The lateral line is made up of a series of vertical rows of papillae. In life it is orange-brown. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities are red-orange.

Habitat

This species occurs at bathypelagic and mesopelagic depths in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.

Distribution

In Australia it is known from scattered localities around the country, including off New South Wales, the Great Australian Bight, central Western Australia and possibly northern Queensland.

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



References

  1. Kotlyar, A.N. 1996. The osteology, intraspecific structure, and distribution of Rondeletia loricata (Rondeletiidae). Journal of Ichthyology. 36(3): 207-221.
  2. Paxton, J.R. 2008. Family Rondeletiidae. In M.F. Gomon, D.J. Bray & R. Kuiter (eds), Fishes of Australia’s South Coast. Sydney: New Holland. Pp. 413. (included a colour photo)
  3. Paxton, J.R., Hoese, D.F., Allen G.R. & J.E. Hanley. 1989. Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol.7. Pisces Petromyzontidae to Carangidae. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Survey. Pp. i-xii, 1-665.
  4. Paxton, J.R., G.D. Johnson & T. Trnski. 2001. Larvae and juveniles of the deepsea ‘whalefishes’ Barbourisia and Rondeletia (Stephanoberyciformes: Barbourisiidae, Rondeletiidae) with comments on family relationships. Records of the Australian Museum, 53(3): 407-425.
  5. Paxton, J.R. & T. Trnski. 2003. Families Rondeletiidae. In K. Carpenter (ed.), The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Rome: FAO and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Vol. 2: 1168-1169.