Smallscale Waryfish

Scopelosaurus Hamiltoni
Smallscale Waryfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Scopelosaurus Hamiltoni
Family Waryfish / Notosudidae
Size Up to 50 cm (19.68 in)
Weight Up to .30 kg (.66 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Deeper offshore waters, schooling fish near the bottom & mid-water column
Depth Range 200 - 1,000 m (3,280 ft)
Smallscale Waryfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Smallscale Waryfish are widely distributed in the temperate and subtropical waters off the southern and eastern coasts of Australia, including the Tasman Sea and the Great Australian Bight.
  • They are small, slender, and elongated fish. They have a distinct silvery-white to pale yellow coloration and a series of lateral black spots along their body.
  • Smallscale Waryfish primarily feed on zooplankton and small crustaceans, which they capture using their specialised teeth and feeding appendages.
  • They possess bioluminescent organs on their bodies, enabling them to produce light. This adaptation helps them communicate, find mates, and potentially confuse predators.
  • Some research suggests that Smallscale Waryfish may undertake vertical migrations, ascending to shallower depths during the night time to feed on migrating zooplankton and descending to deeper waters during the day to avoid predators.
  • They are primarily nocturnal, becoming more active during the night when they venture closer to the surface to feed.
  • These fish are known to have a spawning season during the Australian spring and early summer, typically from September to December. During this time, they release eggs into the water column for fertilisation.
  • The Smallscale Waryfish are prolific egg producers, releasing a large number of tiny eggs that float in the water. These eggs hatch into larval forms within a few days.
  • Their estimated average lifespan is between 3 – 5 years.
Species Interaction

Elusive Species

Due to the deep-sea habitat of the Smallscale Waryfish, these fish have limited interactions with humans, making them relatively obscure and challenging to see or study.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Myctophiformes

Family: Myctophidae

Genus: Scopelosaurus

Species: Scopelosaurus Hamiltoni

Conservation Status

The Smallscale Waryfish has not been assigned an official conservation status in Australia. However, it’s important to verify the latest information from authoritative sources for any updates on their conservation status.

Elusive / Overlooked Species

Finding: Difficult

Temperament: Shy

Location: Deepsea

Danger: None

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!