Toothed Whiptail

Lepidorhynchus Denticulatus
Toothed Whiptail - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Lepidorhynchus Denticulatus
Other names Javelinfish, Thorntooth Grenadier, Toothed Rattail
Size Up to 55 cm (21.65 in)
Weight Under 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)
Toothed Whiptail Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Toothed Whiptails are found in the deep waters of the Southern Ocean, and their distribution in Australian waters stretches from southern Western Australia across to New South Wales, including Tasmania.
  • They are elongated, slender fish with a distinctive appearance. They typically have a silver or greyish body with rows of sharp spines along their dorsal and ventral fins.
  • They like many deep sea species are opportunistic predators, Toothed Whiptails feed on a variety of small fish, echinoderms, polychaete worms and crustaceans.
  • These fish are generally slow swimmers and are well-suited to their deep-sea habitat, where energy conservation is important due to the limited availability of food.
  • They have adapted to withstand the extreme pressures of the deep sea. Its body structure and physiological adaptations allow it to function effectively at great depths.
  • Toothed Whiptails have adapted to life in the deep sea, where light is scarce. They often have specialised sensory adaptations, such as large eyes, to detect bioluminescent prey in the darkness.
  • Specific details about their breeding habits, including the breeding season, require further research, as deep-sea species often have limited documented information regarding their reproductive biology.
  • While specific details of their reproductive strategy may be limited, deep-sea fish like the Toothed Whiptails often produce a large number of eggs to increase the chances of offspring survival in the challenging deep-sea environment.
  • They are a long lived species with a lifespan up to 20 plus years.
Species Interaction

Commercial Fishing, Elusive Species

The Toothed Whiptail is not a target species for fishing, although it is occasionally caught as bycatch by deep-sea fishing operations. 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: Lepidorhynchus

Species: Lepidorhynchus Denticulatus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Toothed Whiptail in Australia is limited. Due to its deep-sea habitat and minimal interactions with human activities, it has not been extensively studied or evaluated for conservation concerns. Deep-sea species often face challenges related to habitat destruction and fisheries bycatch.

How to catch
Toothed 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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