Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    brachiusculus
    Genus
    Grammicolepis
    Family
    Grammicolepididae
    Order
    Zeiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 64cm in length.

Introduction

The Thorny Tinselfish has a deep, compressed body that is covered with vertically elongated scales. It occurs in tropical and temperate marine waters

Identification

The Thorny Tinselfish has a deep, compressed body that is covered with vertically elongated scales. It has a tiny mouth, large eyes, and small spines along the bases of the dorsal and anal fins.

Fish less than 25 cm in length usually have horizontally flattened scutes on the sides of the body. Larger fish lack scutes.

The Thorny Tinselfish is classified in the family Grammicolepididae, the Scaly Dories. This family contains two genera, each with a single species. The second species of grammicolepid is the Spotted Tinselfish Xenolepidichthys dalgleishi. This fish has less dorsal spines and rays (32-35 versus 39-41 in the Thorny Tinselfish) and lacks spiny scutes on the sides of the body.

Habitat

It occurs at depths between 400 m and 800 m.

Distribution

It is found in tropical and temperate marine waters. In Australia the Thorny Tinselfish is recorded from several localities off 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.

Grammicolepis brachiusculus

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

References

  1. Karrer, C., 1990. Grammicolepididae. in Quero J.C., Hureau, J.C., Karrer, C., Post A. and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. Pp. 634-635.
  2. Karrer, C & P.C. Heemstra. 1986 Grammicolepididae. In Smith's Sea Fishes. (eds) Smith. M.M. & P.C. Heemstra. Johannesburg, Macmillan South Africa. Pp. 440-441.
  3. Myers, G.S. 1937. The deep-sea Zeomorph Fishes of the family Grammicolepidae. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 84 (3008): 145-156.
  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. (as Daramattus americanus).