Wednesday, 3 July 2013



Animal of the Month

What's so special about it?

There are only five Bristlyskin (Hispidoberyx ambagiosus) specimens in existence. Everything we know about this species comes from examining these individuals. Scientists have been able to determine which category of fish it belongs to (the Stephanoberyciformes), its diet (shrimp) and its preferred depth (about a kilometre below the surface of the ocean).

Where can I see one?

The Australian Museum has one of the afore-mentioned specimens in its collection (pictured). Bristlyskins have only ever been seen in the wild as accidental catches in deep-sea fishing nets off Sumatra, Java and the South China Sea.

Is there anything similar near Brisbane?

Bean's Bigscale
Moreton Bay and our coastal waters are far too shallow for the Bristlyskin and other deep-sea fish, but trawlers in the Tasman Sea sometimes find the Bean's Bigscale (Scopelogadus beanii) in their nets.

Both images © Mark McGrouther at the Australian Museum


  1. I've never seen anything like the Bean's Bigscale; can't say it's too impressive. Not something I'd want on my plate at least!

    1. Haha! I don't think I'd even want it in a fishtank! I just love how mysterious these sea creatures are though.