Cetomimus craneae

Common Name

Bermuda Whalefish

Year Described

Harry, 1952


Dorsal Fin: 19
Anal Fin: 19
Pectoral Fin: 23
Lateral Line Pores: 22
Gill Arches: 3

Genus diagnosis after Paxton (1989) for females:

Upper jaw length 29% SL. Predorsal Length 77% SL. Body rather elongated with a huge mouth (third of body length). Snout rounded. Eye tiny. Nasal organ small. Jaws concave on upper and lower. Free gill arches number three without a slit behind last. Gill tooth plates contiguous. Lateral line conspicuous with large round pores inside a channel with raised rim. Pores relatively large; almost as wide as tube. No vertical rows of papillae on lateral line. Moderate dermal flaps present on lateral pores are about half pore length. Lateral line system continues onto head as a series of pores and sensory openings. Additional pores on lower jaw and snout. Jaw teeth tiny in several irregular, diagonal rows. Vomerine tooth patch round or oval. Dorsal and anal fins located far back on body, with bases slightly elevated. Cavernous tissue located around the anus, anterior anal fin, anterior dorsal fin rays 1-4, along lateral line, and caudal peduncle. Caudal fin with less than 17 principle rays. Pelvic fin absent. Pectoral fin small and inserted low on body. Body flabby and scaleless except for large, diagnostic scales associated with the lateral line canals.

Males and juveniles unknown.


Fresh specimens described in Harry (1952) as being dark brown with a lighter earthtone shade over the skin and bright orange color over the lateral pores and cavernous tissue. Preserved fish are dark brown.


Maximum known size to 83mm SL.


Type material taken at about 1463m at bathypelagic depths.


Known only from off Bermuda.


Harry, R.R. 1952. Deep-sea fishes of the Bermuda oceanographic expeditions. Families Cetomimidae and Rondeletiidae. Zoologica, Scientific Contributions of the New York Zoological Society v. 37 (pt 1, no. 5): 55-72, Pl. 1.

Maul, G.E. 1969. On the genus Cetomimus (Cetomimidae) with the description of a new species. Bocagiana. Museu Municipal do Funchal (História Natural) No. 18: 1-12.

McEachran, J.D. & J. D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin. 1-1112.

Paxton, J.R. 1989. Synopsis of the whalefishes (family Cetomimidae) with descriptions of four new genera. Records of the Australian Museum v. 41: 135-206.

Other Notes

The only other species in the genus without a slit behind the third gill arch is Cetomimus teevani, which has much lower and non-overlapping meristics.