Bathypterois grallator

Common Name

Common Tripodfish

Year Described

Goode & Bean, 1886


Dorsal Fin: 12-13
Anal Fin: 12-13
Pelvic Fin: 8 (first thickened and elongate)
Pectoral Fin: 2 tiny upper rays; then 7-10 major rays (upper the longest); then 1-2 tiny lower rays
Branchiostegal Rays: 10-11
Gill Rakers: 8-9, 1 on corner, then 19-23 on lower limb (first arch)
Lateral Line: 52-54
Vertebrae: 53-54

Body fairly elongate with a tiny eye and a large mouth. Teeth recurved and relatively large. Pectoral fin simple, with upper elongated rays not extending past last dorsal ray. Ventral fins with first ray thickened and greatly elongated (greater than SL). Anal fin origin under middle of dorsal fin. Lowermost caudal fin principle rays are greatly elongated (greater than SL). There is no sub-caudal notch. Adipose fin absent. Body scales small and simple.


Body black with scale pockets outlined in white (forming reticulate pattern). Head and gill area black.


Maximum size to over 300mm SL.


Deep continental slope and rise from 878-3,980m. Props itself over soft bottoms on its elongated pelvic and caudal fin rays.


New England to the Caribbean Sea, including the Gulf of Mexico. Also off SE Brazil.


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