Barathronus pacificus

Common Name

Plain Blindfish

Year Described

Nielsen, 1984


Dorsal Fin: 63-80
Anal Fin: 55-72
Pectoral Fin: 22-27
Pelvic Fin: 1
Caudal Fin: 10
Gill Rakers: 28-35 on first arch
Vertebrae: 78-89 (35-40 precaudal)

Elongate and translucent, with loose gelatinous skin. Head large and broader than body. Eyes not apparent. 1-8 fangs on vomer and 1-7 fangs on dentary. Anterior part of vertebral column with distinctive ventral flexure. Two lobes at the base of penis. Two pseudobranchial filaments. Body scaleless with 11-13 lateral pores. Dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin. Male with a pair of bulbs at the base of penis.


Body pale with internal organs and bone structure visible through translucent skin. Peritoneum not pigmented and mostly yellowish.


Specimens range from 42-128mm SL.


Benthic at abyssal depths (2931-3934).


Known from 18 specimens in the northwestern Atlantic off the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. (around 38 degrees N, 70 degrees W). Widespread in the eastern Atlantic.


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

This species used to be known as Barathronus unicolor but has been lumped into B. pacificus with the collection of more material (Nielsen, 2019). The only other western Atlantic Barathronus with a flexure in the anterior vertebrae is B. linsi. That species can be distinguished by the number of vomerine fangs, the number of gill rakers, and the different shaped genitalia (lacking a pair of bulbs).