Ompax spatuloides

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The Ompax spatuloides was a hoax fish "discovered" in Australia in August, 1872. Said to be poisonous, it could be found on some lists of Australian fishes through the 1930s.

The fish was a joke perpetrated by people at Gayndah station, Queensland, who prepared it from the body of a mullet, the tail of an eel and the head of a platypus or needlefish. They served it cooked for Carl Staiger, the director of the Brisbane Museum, and he forwarded a sketch and description of the fake to expert Francis de Laporte de Castelnau, who described the supposed "species" in 1879.[1]


  1. ^ "A Mythical Fish.". Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) (Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 17 January 1934. p. 5. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  • Australian Sporting Records (1998): 117. Bantam Books.
  • Castelnau, François Louis de la Porte, comte de (1879): On a New Ganoïd Fish from Queensland. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 3(1): 164-165, plate XIXa.
  • Whitley, Gilbert P. (1933): Ompax spatuloides Castelnau, a mythical Australian fish. Am. Nat. 67(713): 563-567. First page image