Image: Strange Wormfish, Pterocerdale insolita Hoese & Motomura, 2009

Strange Wormfish, Pterocerdale insolita Hoese & Motomura, 2009

The Strange Wormfish is a new species and genus discovered by Doug Hoese and Denise Rennis from a dark and gloomy mangrove creek near Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Doug Hoese
© Australian Museum


It is a strange looking fish with a pug nosed face and with a very flexible body capable of bending into a full circle like a worm. Although collected from a single specimen in 1982, no others have ever been found. It lives in habitats difficult to sample because of mud and crocodiles. It belongs to a worldwide group of wormfishes and dartgobies common in mangroves and coral reefs. The fish is only 5.1 cm long.


Hoese, D. F. & H. Motomura. 2009. Descriptions of two new genera and species of ptereleotrine fishes from Australia and Japan (Teleosei: Gobioidei) with discussion of possible relationships. Zootaxa No. 2312: 49-59.

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Tags Strange Wormfish, fishes, ichthyology, Microdesmidae, Pterocerdale insolita, cave,