Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    brevis
    Genus
    Parataeniophorus
    Family
    Cetomimidae
    Order
    Stephanoberyciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    As a larva the species grows to at least 46 mm in standard length.

Introduction

Tapetails are elongate fishes that have the dorsal and anal fins positioned at the rear of the body. For many years they were classified in the family Mirapinnidae and ichthyologists pondered why adult tapetails were never collected. Now we know that they are in fact larval whalefishes (family Cetomimidae).

Identification

These larval fishes have a long caudal streamer (a ribbon of tissue often longer than the body) extending from the tail. The pelvic fins are jugular. P.brevis is dark brown. It lacks a lateral line and is scaleless. There are eight to ten rays in the pelvic fins.

Habitat

P.brevis is a pelagic species that occurs in temperate marine waters.

Distribution

The species is found in waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from off the coast of central 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.

Parataeniophorus brevis

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

References

  1. Bertelsen, E. Family Mirapinnidae in Smith, M.M & P.C. Heemstra (eds). 1986. Smiths' Sea Fishes. Macmillan. Pp. ix-xx, 1-1047.
  2. Herrera, G.A. & R.J. Lavenberg. 1995. Record of a larval Parataeniophorus brevis from Hawaii. Journal of Fish Biology. 46:908-911.
  3. 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.
  4. Paxton, J.R. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.