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CAAB: 37212000


Batfishes, Handfishes, Seabats

Compiler and date details

16 May 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, Douglass F. Hoese, John R. Paxton & Jennifer E. Gates

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


Ogcocephalids are found in all tropical and subtropical seas. The family more than 70 species in 10 genera (Nelson 2006; Ho et al. 2013). Currently, six genera and 13 described species are known from Australia, but numerous unidentified and provisionally named species are in Australian collections.

Ogcocephalids are benthic on the outer continental shelf and slope. As in other lophiiform fishes, an esca is present over the mouth, in an anteriorly opening illicial cavity. The body is usually flattened with dorsal eyes, arm-like pectoral fins and scales modified to tubercles or bucklers. Maximum length is 40 cm, but most are much smaller.

The deepwater batfishes require revision, particularly the Indo-west Pacific species. Bradbury (1967) revised the nine genera, and Bradbury (1999a) presented a key to the tropical western Pacific genera including all genera known from Australia. Bradbury (1999b) reviewed Dibranchus and Endo & Shinohara (1999) treated species in Coelophrys and discussed relationships of the genera in the family. Various Australian species have been treated by Ho & Shao (2008, 2010) and Ho et al. (2011, 2013).


General References

Bradbury, M.G. 1967. The genera of batfishes (family Ogcocephalidae). Copeia 1967(2): 399-422 figs 1-9

Bradbury, M.G. 1999a. Family Ogcocephalidae. pp. 2023-2025 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Bradbury, M.G. 1999b. A review of the fish genus Dibranchus with descriptions of new species and a new genus Solocisquama (Lophiiformes, Ogcocephalidae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 51(5): 259-310

Bradbury, M.G. 2003. Family Ogcocephalidae Jordan 1895 -- batfishes. California Academy of Sciences Annotated Checklists of Fishes 17: 1-17

Endo, H. & Shinohara, G. 1999. A new batfish, Coelophrys bradburyae (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae) from Japan, with comments on the evolutionary relationships of the genus. Ichthyological Research 46(4): 359-365

Ho, H.-C., Roberts, C.D. & Shao, K.-T. 2013. Revision of batfishes (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae) of New Zealand and adjacent waters, with description of two new species of the genus Malthopsis. Zootaxa 3626(1): 188-200

Ho, H.-C., Séret, B. & Shao, K.-T. 2011. Records of anglerfishes (Lophiiformes: Lophiidae) from the western South Pacific Ocean, with descriptions of two new species. Journal of Fish Biology 79(7): 1722–1745

Ho, H.-C. & K.-T. Shao 2010. A review of Malthopsis jordani Gilbert, 1905, with description of a new batfish from the Indo-Pacific Ocean (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae). Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science A 4: 9-19

Ho, H.-C. & Shao, K.-T. 2008. The batfishes (Lophiiformes Ogcocephalidae) of Taiwan, with descriptions of eight new records. Journal of the Fisheries Society of Taiwan 35(4): 289-313

Ho, H.-C. & Shao, K.-T. 2010. Redescription of Malthopsis lutea Alcock, 1891 and resurrection of M. kobayashi Tanaka, 1916 (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae). Journal of the National Taiwan Museum 63(3): 1-18

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.


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)
25-Jun-2015 LOPHIIFORMES 16-May-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)