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Tripod fish1.jpg
Unidentified tripod fish off the coast of Hawaii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Aulopiformes
Family: Ipnopidae
T. N. Gill, 1884


Bathypterois viridensis with modified pectoral and pelvic fins
Mediterranean spiderfish Bathypterois dubius
Deep sea fish Ipnops

The Ipnopidae (deepsea tripod fishes) are a family of fishes in the order Aulopiformes. They are small, slender fishes, with maximum length ranging from about 10 to 40 cm (3.9 to 15.7 in). They are found in temperate and tropical deep waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

A number of species, especially in the genus Bathypterois, have elongated pectoral and pelvic fins. In the case of the tripodfish, Bathypterois grallator, these fins are three times as long as the body — up to a meter in length — and are used for standing on the sea floor. Ipnopids either have tiny eyes, or very large eyes that lack any lens; in either case they have very poor vision and are unable to form an image.[1]


  1. ^ Johnson, R.K.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 125. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.