An eelpout, Pachycara gymninium Click to enlarge image
A specimen of P.gymninium (AMS I.41149-001) from a depth between 1540m and 2950m, Juan de Fuca Ridge, north-east Pacific Ocean, 2002. The specimen was donated to the Australian Museum by A. Taylor of Alton Castle's Natural History Facility. Image: Kerryn Parkinson
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    gymninium
    Genus
    Pachycara
    Family
    Zoarcidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia

Introduction

Pachycara gymninium is found on brown and green mud bottoms at depths of 1880 m to 3200 m. No species in the genus Pachycara are recorded from Australian waters, although the eelpout Melanostigma gelatinosum Günther, 1881 is known to occur off Tasmania.

Identification

Pachycara gymninium is an eelpout in the family Zoarcidae. Zoarcid fishes have elongate bodies, anteriorly positioned pelvic fins and one (rather than two) pairs of nostrils.

P.gymninium can be distinguished from other zoarcids by a combination of characters that include fin and lateral line characteristics. It has a scaleless head, hence the species name gymninium (from the Greek gymno - naked and inion - back of the head, or nape).

Distribution

This species is found on brown and green mud bottoms at depths of 1880 m to 3200 m. Its distribution is from British Columbia, Canada, south to Mexico. No species in the genus Pachycara are recorded from Australian waters. The eelpout Melanostigma gelatinosum Günther, 1881 is known to occur off Tasmania.

References

  1. Anderson, M.E. & A.E. Peden, 1988. The eelpout genus Pachycara (Teleostei: Zoarcidae) in the north-eastern Pacific Ocean, with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. 83-94.
  2. Johnson, G.D. & A.C. Gill 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.
  3. 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.