Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Cockatoo Handfish
Range Southwest Pacific, Australia.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Lophiiformes
Family Brachionichthyidae
Genus Pezichthys
Species P. amplispinus

The Cockatoo handfish, (Pezichthys amplispinus), is a fish from the family Brachionichthyidae.


Marine; demersal; depth range 74 - 121 m. Temperate; 36°S - 38°S, 149°E - 151°E


Member of the genus Pezichthys with a bold colour pattern, long dermal spinules, a humped nape and the posterior extension of the first dorsal-fin membrane is very short (i.e. interdorsal distance long). It also differs from its congeners in a combination of the following characters: esca small, 19–21% of illicium length; illicium very slender, without dermal spinules, its length 16–20% SL, 2.5–3.1 times in head length in adults; head length 4.9–6.2 times snout length; snout long, length 8–10% SL; eye 6.2–7.7 times in head length; body moderately robust, maximum width 30–38% SL; interorbital width 8–11% SL; scale bases subcircular with relatively long bifurcate spinules (except for those closely associated with pores of the acoustico-lateralis system); spinules variable in length over body; dorsal-fin elements with spinules, membranes of fins mostly naked; first dorsal-fin base length 18–20% SL; second dorsal-fin rays 15–16 (usually 16), fin base 55–63% SL; length of second dorsal-fin spine 1.4–1.9 times length of longest ray of second dorsal fin; anal-fin rays 7–9; upper body variegated, lacking dark spots or streaks; caudal fin not covered with fine spots.


Southwest Pacific, Australia.