Neoepinnula orientalis   (Gilchrist & von Bonde,  1924) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Maximum 30 cm standard length; common to 20 cm.

Color: uniformly bluish brown (in formaline); fins pale except blackish first dorsal; lining of buccal and branchial cavities black.

Body deep, semifusiform and fairly compressed. Mouth large; 3 or 4 fangs anteriorly in upper jaw (2 or 4 immovable, the remaining depressible), a pair of enlarged canines anteriorly in lower jaw; lateral teeth in both jaws conical and widely spaced, those in lower jaw much larger than those of upper; several small teeth present on vomer; a single series of small conical teeth on palatines; eye moderate in size, contained about 5 to 6 times in head length. First dorsal fin rather low, with 16 spines, second dorsal fin also low, with 1 spine and 18 to 20 soft rays; anal fin almost same as second dorsal fin in shape and size, with 3 spines and 18 to 20 soft rays; pectoral fins round and small, a little longer than snout, with 13 or 14 soft rays; pelvic fins well developed and large, slightly smaller than pectoral fins, with one spine and 5 soft rays; caudal fin forked, with a fairly deep caudal peduncle. Two lateral lines, both originating together above upper anqle of gill cover; the upper branch running parallel to dorsal contour to slightly beyond end of second dorsal base, lower branch running along ventral contour to base of middle ray of caudal fin. Head and body, except upper jaw, lower jaw, throat and branchiostegal membrane, wholly covered with minute, deciduous (easily shed) cycloid scales.

Synonym (s)
Epinnula orientalis Gilchrist & von Bonde, 1924
Epinnula orientalis pacifica Grey, 1953

Common Name (s)
• Sackfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries marketed frozen or iced for fish sausage and fish cake. )

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic
Prey:  Small fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods.
Predator:  Bony fishes (Thunnus albacares, Thunnus obesus)


• Arabian Sea (Lat: 7) (Long: 66) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 20-420 mts)
• Arabian Sea (Lat: 20) (Long: 77) INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 20-420 mts)
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA
• West Coast INDIA (Record: 1998-2000) (Depth: 201-400 mts)

Literature Source(s)
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 2 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at -
  • Jayasankar, P; Pillai, NGK; Rajagopalan, M and Sobhana, KS (2007) Night fishing for oceanic tunas at Vishakhapatnam CMFRI newsletter Modayil, MJ 113 1-11 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -
  • Venu, S and Kurup, BM (2002) Distribution and abundance of deep sea fishes along the west coast of India Fishery Technology Society of Fisheries Technologists 39(1) 20-26 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-27

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