Animal Species:Shortsnout Lancetfish, Alepisaurus brevirostris Gibbs, 1960
The Shortsnout Lancetfish is a slender species with large fangs. It occurs in deep temperate waters in most oceans.
Shortsnout Lancetfish, Alepisaurus brevirostris
Photographer: Mark McGrouther © NORFANZ Founding Parties
Standard Common Name
The Shortsnout Lancetfish has a slim, elongate body. It has a long-based first dorsal fin followed by a small adipose fin. The caudal fin is large and forked. The anal fin is short-based and positioned posteriorly on the body.
The species has a large mouth with large fangs on the roof of the mouth and at the front of the lower jaw. There are smaller triangular and caniniform teeth elsewhere on the jaws and the roof of the mouth.
It is iridescent brownish-black above and paler laterally. The long lateral keels at the rear of the body are black. The dorsal fin may have a row of white spots close to its base.
The species occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide, except the North Pacific.
In Australia it has only been recorded from off Eucla, Western Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
It occurs at bathypelagic and mesopelagic depths.
- Glover, C.J.M. 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
Tags fishes, ichthyology, Alepisaurus brevirostris, Shortsnouted Handsawfish, long and skinny, fangs, elongate, forked caudal fin, large mouth, triangular teeth, brownish-black, pale underside, dots/spots, white spots, > 1m, temperate water, marine,