Serrulate Whiptail

Coryphaenoides Serrulatus
Serrulate Whiptail - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Coryphaenoides Serrulatus
Other names Serrulate Rattail
Size Up to 45 cm (17.71 in)
Weight Up to 2 kg (4.4 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deepsea waters amongst soft bottom areas on the continental slope
Depth Range 200 - 2,000 m (6,562 ft)
Serrulate Whiptail Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Serrulate Whiptails are found in deep waters off the eastern and southern coasts of Australia. They are commonly encountered in the waters off Tasmania and along the eastern seaboard.
  • These Whiptails are typically elongated and slender, with a streamlined body designed for life in the deep ocean. They have large eyes adapted for low light conditions, and their body coloration varies from dark brown to black, helping them blend in with their deep-sea surroundings.
  • They are opportunistic predators that primarily feed on small fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. They use their large mouths to engulf prey.
  • Serrulate Whiptails are known for their slow and deliberate swimming style. They often drift near the seafloor while searching for food.
  • Like many deep-sea creatures, Serrulate Whiptails are equipped with bioluminescent organs called photophores, which they use for communication, camouflage, and attracting prey.
  • These fish have elongated pectoral fins, which they use to stabilise themselves while hovering and searching for prey in the water column.
  • Serrulate Whiptails are known for their slow reproductive rate. They typically have a low fecundity, which means they produce a relatively small number of eggs.
  • The breeding season and reproductive habits of this species in Australian waters are not extensively documented but are believed to occur in deeper parts of their range.
  • They are a long lived species with a lifespan up to 20 years or more.
Species Interaction

Commercial Fishing, Elusive Species

The Serrulate Whiptail is not a target species for fishing, it can occasionally be incidentally caught as bycatch from ocean trawlers. Bycatch refers to the unintended capture of non-target species while fishing for other commercially valuable species. Due to the species’ deep-sea habitat, limited commercial value, and restricted range, direct human interactions with them are infrequent.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Gadiformes

Family: Macrouridae

Genus: Coryphaenoides

Species: Coryphaenoides Serrulatus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of Serrulate Whiptails in Australia is not well-documented. Since they inhabit deep-sea environments, they are less likely to be impacted by direct human activities like overfishing, but they may still face threats from deep-sea trawling and other habitat disturbances.

How to catch
Serrulate Whiptail

Catch Difficulty: NA

Tackle: NA

Bait: NA

Technique: NA

Popularity: Not targeted - Commercial fishing bycatch

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Deepsea

Danger: None

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