Animal Species:Silver Lightfish, Phosichthys argenteus (Hutton, 1872)

The Silver Lightfish possess rows of light organs run along the ventral surface of the body. There are two light organs near the eye, one in front and one behind.

Silver Lightfish, Phosichthys argenteus

Robin McPhee © NORFANZ

Standard Common Name

Silver Lightfish

Alternative Name/s

Silver Lighthouse Fish, Lighthouse Fish

Identification

The Silver Lightfish is an elongate, compressed fish. Its dorsal fin is positioned well in front of the anal fin. Rows of light organs run along the ventral surface of the body. There are two light organs near the eye, one in front and one behind. The mouth has large canines. The species is dark brown above, lighter brown to pink on the sides and black below. Parts of the head are silvery.

Size range

The species grows to 30 cm in length.

Distribution

The species occurs in temperate marine waters of the southern hemisphere, except off South America. In Australia it has been trawled from off New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Phosichthys argenteus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Silver Lightfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Silver Lightfish is a benthic species that occurs at continental slope depths.

Classification

Species:
argenteus
Genus:
Phosichthys
Family:
Phosichthyidae
Order:
Stomiiforomes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Harold, A. S. 1999. Phosichthyidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Paxton, J.R. In Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Silver Lightfish, Phosichthys argenteus, Phosichthyidae, NORFANZ, light organs, Lighthouse Fish, elongate, dark brown, black underside, silvery head, 10 cm - 30 cm, temperate water, marine, benthic species, continental slope,