Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

9 Mar 2016 - Douglass F. Hoese, Dianne J. Bray & Matthew M. Lockett


A small family consisting of two genera, Bathylaco (not yet known from Australia) and Herwigia, with four species. One species is currently recorded from Australian waters, but their preferred habitat is poorly sampled and additional species are likely to be present (Sazonov & Williams, 2001). All species are circumglobal in tropical waters of the continental slopes, mostly at depths of over 1500 m. Although free swimming, most species appear to live close to the bottom. Maximum size is 40 cm.

The family Bathylaconidae is often treated as a subfamily of the Alepocephalidae (Nelson 1994), but we follow Johnson & Patterson (1996) and other recent authors (Nelson 2006, Wiley & Johnson 2010) in recognising the group as a distinct family. Poulsen et al. (2009) suggested that the family is not monophyletic. Nielsen & Larsen (1968) revised the family, and Sazonov & Williams (2001) discussed both genera and provided a key to all known species.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
PROTACANTHOPTERYGII 23-May-2016 ADDED Dr Doug Hoese Dr Matthew Lockett