Scientific name Latimeria chalumnae
Descriptor Smith
Year of description 1939
IUCN category CR
Family Latimeriidae
Genus Latimeria
Latimeria chalumnae Latimeria chalumnae


Latimeria chalumnae, commonly known as coelacanth, is a salt water fish from the western Indian Ocean.

This sheet is currently being prepared. The texts currently proposed come from our data model or are being drafted. To request priority for this content, you can write to us HERE.

Who is it?


  • Average size
    168 cm
  • Maximum size
    200 cm
  • Longevity
    48 year
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    168 cm
  • Maximum size
    200 cm
  • Longevity
    48 year
  • Shape
  • Pattern

How to recognize the coelacanth ?

The coelacanth measures between 168 and 200 cm. This fish is bicolore with a predominantly noir and beige body. The also has beige mottling.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The coelacanth is a fish solitary naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous . This fish lives mainly at night. Usually, it leaves its hiding place and starts to be active once it gets dark.

Although the coelacanth is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction

The coelacanth is a fish ovovivipare.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    13 - 18 °C
  • Depth
    150 - 700 m
  • Flow

Biotope presentation

The coelacanth is most often found at a depth between 150m and 700m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Latimeria, the Living Coelacanth, Is Ovoviviparous - C. Lavett Smith - Charles S. Rand - Bobb Schaeffer - James W. Atz - science - 1975.

The structure of the scales of Latimeria chalumnae - Moya Meredith Smith - M. H. Hobdell - W. A. Miller - ZSL - 1972.

Cranial nerves of the coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae [Osteichthyes: Sarcopterygii: Actinistia], and comparisons with other craniata. - Northcutt RG - Bemis WE - Karger - 1993.

Feeding ecology and evolutionary survival of the living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae - H. Fricke - K. Hissmann - Springer Nature - 2000.

Viviparity and the maternal-embryonic relationship in the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae - John P. Wourms - James W. Atz - M. Dean Stribling - Springer link - 1991.

Interact with Fishipedia

To get in touch with our team or participate in our project.

Template and content © Fishipedia - Unauthorized reproduction without prior request - ISSN 2270-7247 - Last modification 12/11/2023

Where to see this species?

Scientific partners

  • {{name}}

    {{#street_number}}{{street_number}}, {{/street_number}}{{#route}}{{route}}{{/route}}
    {{postal_code}} {{town}}