An Oilfish, Ruvettus pretiosus, approaches a bait at a depth of 878 m, north-east of Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, off Queensland, 21 May 2010.
One of the differences between the Oilfish and an Escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, is the absence of lateral keels on the side of the caudal peduncle. The slightly raised ridge visible in the clip is presumably musculature not a keel. Other differences include fewer finlets behind the second dorsal and anal fins in the Oilfish (2 vs. 4-6) and a larger mouth (extending to below or just beyond the rear of the eye vs. extending to under the front of the eye). The scales of the Oilfish are also much larger than those of the Escolar.
Last Updated: 21 June 2012
Juvenile Oilfish View full size
Photographer: Greg Barea © Greg Barea
1 William Street
NSW 2010 Australia