Barathronus bicolor

Common Name

Bicolored Blindfish

Year Described

Goode & Bean, 1886


Dorsal Fin: 62-78
Anal Fin: 46-59
Pectoral Fin: 22-27
Pelvic Fin: 1
Caudal Fin: 9-10
Gill Rakers: 28-35 on first arch
Vertebrae: 68-75 (31-36 precaudal)

Elongate and translucent, with loose gelatinous skin. Head larger and broader than the body. Eyes not apparent and degenerate. 1-5 fangs on vomer and 1-6 fangs on dentary. Teeth present on palatine (1-5 fangs). No ventral flexure on anterior vertebral column. Penis long (>15% SL) and slender. No lobes at the base of penis. Body scaleless. Dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin.


Body pale brown and translucent with dark pigment often present on the head, pre-dorsal area, lower jaw, and in the gut region. Peritoneum very dark to black with lateral streaks of dark pigment (dark blue in life).


Adults range from 58-140mm SL.


Benthic at bathyal depths (366-1640m) and possibly deeper. Larvae may occur off the bottom.


Widespread in the W. Atlantic from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to Venezuala. Also known from off Brazil (Franco et al., 2007).


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. 1984. Two new, abyssal Barathronus spp. from the North Atlantic (Pisces: Aphyonidae). Copeia 1984 (no. 3): 579-584.

Nielsen, J. G., Mincarone, M. M., & F. Di Dario. 2015. A new deep-sea species of Barathronus Goode & Bean from Brazil, with notes on Barathronus bicolor Goode & Bean (Ophidiiformes: Aphyonidae). Neotropical Ichthyology, 13(1), 53-60.

Nielsen, J. G. 2019. Revision of the circumglobal genus Barathronus (Ophidiiformes, Bythitidae) with a new species from the eastern North Atlantic Ocean. Zootaxa, 4679(2), zootaxa-4679.

Other Notes

The only Barathronus in the region with a dark to black peritoneum (vs. transparent).