Pacific Spookfish, <i>Rhinochimaera pacifica</i> Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Pacific Spookfish trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between the surface and 1750m in the Tasman Sea, 19 May 2003. The fish is registered in the Ichthyology Collection of the National Museum of New Zealand (NMNZ P.39534) Image: NORFANZ Founding Parties
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Genus
    Harriota
    Family
    Rhinochimaeridae
    Order
    Chimaeriformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia

Introduction

Two species of Harriotta are known from Australian waters, Harriotta haeckeli and H. raleighana.



Identification

The dorsal fin of the Smallspine Spookfish, H. haeckeli, is barely taller than the second dorsal fin. As its name implies, the Bigspine Spookfish, H. raleighana, has a tall first dorsal fin that is more than twice the height of the second dorsal fin.

Habitat

Both species live in deep continental slope waters.

Distribution

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. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 2009. Sharks and Rays of Australia. Edition 2. CSIRO. Pp. 644, Pl. 1-91.