Aphyonus gelatinosus

Common Name

Gelatinous Blindfish

Year Described

Günther, 1878


Dorsal Fin: 92-118
Anal Fin: 61-78
Pectoral Fin: 17-20
Pelvic Fin: 1
Caudal Fin: 6-8
Gill Rakers: 11-14 (3-4 long rakers)
Vertebrae: 77-87 (28-33 precaudal, 49-54 caudal)

Elongate, relatively slender, and translucent, with loose gelatinous skin. Head very large with blunt snout. Mouth horizontal; extending well past eye. Eye tiny and embedded under skin. Premaxillary and dentary with small teeth. 3-7 fangs on vomer. Pseudobranchs present. Penis partially covered by a hood and one clasper. Dorsal fin origin far forward (<25.0-30.5% SL). Dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin.


Body translucent white with pinkish musculature, and brown pigment on the peritoneum and the genital area.


Adults range from 62-147mm SL.


Deep benthic waters from 914-2560m.


Known from off the E. U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, the S. Caribbean Sea and off E. Brazil.


Franco, M.A., P.A.S. Costa, and A.C. Braga. 2007. New records of Aphyonidae (Teleostei: Ophidiiformes) from the south-western Atlantic. Journal of Fish Biology (2007) 71: 908–912.

Nielsen, J.G. 1969. Systematics and biology of the Aphyonidae (Pisces, Ophidioidea). Galathea Report v. 10: 7-90, Pls. 1-4.

Nielsen, J. G. 2015. Revision of the aphyonid genus Aphyonus (Teleostei, Ophidiiformes) with a new genus and two new species. Zootaxa, 4039(2), 323-344.