Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Ipnopidae: <I>Ipnops</I>

Ipnopidae: Ipnops

Ipnopidae: <I>Bathypterois</I>

Ipnopidae: Bathypterois


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB: 37123000


Spiderfishes, Tripod Fishes

Compiler and date details

15 December 2016 - John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese

John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates & Dianne J. Bray


The Ipnopidae with some 29 species in five genera occur in slope and abyssal waters of all oceans (Merrett & Nielsen 1987; Nelson 2006). Ten species in three genera occur in Australian waters. Bathypterois oddi has been recorded from New Zealand and southern Australia (Gomon 2015), but from over 4000 m, outside the Australian region. The work of Baldwin & Johnson (1996) is followed here in recognising the group at the familial level. Some workers include Bathysauropsis in this family, but it is now placed in its own family.

Ipnopids are benthic predators. They have tiny or rudimentary eyes or lensless plates, a depressed head and usually some of the fin rays are thickened and elongate. Some of these deepsea fishes are known to use their extraordinarily elongate pelvic fins and the tail fin to prop themselves up off the bottom to seek prey, predominantly crustaceans, in the current-borne plankton. Maximum length is about 36 cm.

The tripod fishes and relatives have not been comprehensively revised recently. Nielsen (1966) revised Ipnops and related genera, and Sulak (1977) revised Bathypterois and discussed relationships. Shcherbachev (1980) reviewed the species from the Indian Ocean.


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)
22-Dec-2016 AULOPIFORMES 19-Dec-2016 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)