Halosaurus ovenii

Common Name

Shortfin Halosaur

Year Described

Johnson, 1864


Dorsal Fin: 10 (rarely 9)
Anal Fin: 207-230
Pectoral Fin: I, 13-16
Pelvic Fin: I, 9 (sometimes 8)
Lateral Line Scales: 23-29 (to pelvic), 59-68 (to anus)
Branchiostegal Rays: 14-16
Gill Rakers: 11-14 (total on first arch)
Pyloric Caeca: 12-20

Body very elongate and fairly compressed. Scales present on top of head and opercle. Pterygoid tooth patch much longer than palatine. Lateral line scales similar in size to the body scales. Scales above lateral line number 14-15. Scales around belly usually 9. First dorsal ray long, unbranched, and segmented.


Fresh specimens are pinkish-tan, with a bright silvery sheen on the sides of the head and body. The scale margins are darker than the basal half, forming a reticulated pattern on the dorsum in some specimens. The dorsal fin is dusky. The anal fin is pale anteriorly and darkens posteriorly. The interior of the mouth is pale, with dark patches on the roof of the mouth, anterior to the tongue, and on the sides of the lower jaw (H. guentheri is all dark). Pyloric caeca are mostly pale.


Adults range from 45-50cm TL.


Demersal from 400-1,700m (usually <800m).


Scattered records in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.


McDowell, S.B. In: Cohen, D.M., N.B. Marshall, A.W. Ebeling, D.E. Rosen, T. Iwamoto, P. Sonoda, S.B. McDowell, W.H. Weed III, and L.P. Woods. 1973. Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Part 6. Hereromi, Cyprinodontoidei, Berycomorphi, Xenoberyces, Anacanthini. Memoir No. 1. Sears Foundation for Marine Research; Yale University, New Haven, CT. 698 pp., 235 plates.

Whitehead, P.J.P. , M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J.G. Nielsen and E. Tortonese. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I-III. UNESCO. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. http://species-identification.org.