Gigantic Whipnose

Gigantactis Gargantua
Gigantic Whipnose - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Gigantactis Gargantua
Other names Giant Black Seadevil
Size Up to 41 cm (16 in)
Weight Under 1.5 kg (3.3 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deepsea, bathypelagic & mesopelagic zones
Depth Range 500 - 1,300 m (4,265 ft)
Gigantic Whipnose Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Gigantic Whipnose is a species of fish that can be found in the deep waters of the southern coast of Australia, this includes The Great Australian Bight and the Tasman Sea
  • Gigantic Whipnose has a distinctive appearance. It possesses a large, bulbous head with a wide mouth equipped with long, fang-like teeth. A bioluminescent lure hangs in front of their mouth. They have a dark coloration, such as black or dark brown, which is common among deep-sea fish species.
  • As deep-sea anglerfish, they use their bioluminescent lure to attract prey, such as small fish and crustaceans, in the dark depths. Once their prey is lured close enough, they swiftly engulf it with their massive jaws and sharp teeth.
  • They have several adaptations that allow them to survive in the extreme conditions of the deep ocean, including specialised bioluminescent structures and large mouths to capture prey efficiently.
  • Given the vastness and isolation of the deep-sea environment, finding a mate is incredibly difficult for the Gigantic Whipnose. This is one of the reasons why they have evolved the unique sexual parasitism method, ensuring successful reproduction even in the face of extreme environmental challenges.
  • During reproduction, much smaller male anglerfish attach themselves to larger females using specialised structures. The male then fuses with the female, losing most of its internal organs, except for the testes that continue producing sperm. This intimate attachment ensures a continuous supply of sperm for the female when she releases her eggs. After laying the eggs into the water, they drift with ocean currents as part of the planktonic drift until hatching into small larvae.
  • Gigantic Whipnose is not a strong swimmer, primarily relying on its bioluminescent lure to attract prey towards its mouth. Its slow movement helps conserve energy in the energy-scarce environment of the deep ocean.
  • The specific lifespan of Gigantic Whipnose remains largely unknown due to its deep-sea habitat and scarcity of observations. However, deep-sea anglerfish, in general, are believed to have relatively long lifespans, potentially reaching several decades.
Species Interaction

Elusive Species

The Gigantic Whipnose is an elusive species living at extreme depths, and sightings are infrequent. Studying and observing these creatures require specialised equipment and expertise in deep-sea exploration. As a result, specific species details may remain limited or subject to further research and discoveries.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Lophiiformes

Family: Melanocetidae

Genus: Gigantactis

Species: Gigantactis Gargantua

Conservation Status

Due to the remoteness of their habitat and limited interactions with humans, there is little specific data on the conservation status of the Gigantic Whipnose in Australia. However, like many deep-sea species, they may face potential threats from human activities such as deep-sea mining, pollution, and climate change.

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Deepsea

Danger: None

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