Animal Species:Tadpole Coffinfish, Chaunacops melanostomus (Caruso, 1989)
The Tadpole Coffinfish has a flabby body and long tail that are both covered with small spines. The species been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320 m to 1760 m.
The movie below, shows excellent footage of another species of Chaunacops (C. coloratus) at depths between 2600 m and 3600 m.
The Tadpole Coffinfish has a black mouth lining and an illicium on the snout that can be lowered into a groove.
The name melanostomus comes from the Greek melanos meaning black and stoma meaning mouth.
There are two genera in the family Chaunacidae; Chaunacops and Chaunax. Chaunacops differs from Chaunax by having a lower lateral line count, longer ilicium, a wider head, more widely spaced body spines and several skeletal characters.
The species grows to at least 10 cm in length.
Tadpole Coffinfish have been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320 m to 1760 m.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
- Bertelsen, E in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press . Pp. 240.
- Caruso, J.H. 1989. A review of the Indo-Pacific members of the deep-water chaunacid anglerfish genus Bathychaunax, with the description of a new species from the eastern Indian Ocean (Pisces: Lophiiformes). Bulletin of Marine Science. 45:574-579.
- Caruso, J.H., Ho, H-C. & T.W. Pietsch. 2006. Chaunacops Garman, 1899, a senior objective synonym of Bathychaunax Caruso, 1989 (Lophiiformes: Chaunacoidei: Chaunacidae). Copeia. 1: 120-121.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology