Imperador, <i>Beryx decadactylus</i> Click to enlarge image
A 32 cm long Alfonsino caught on hook and line by D. King at a depth of 400 m, east of Browns' Mountain, south-east of Sydney, New South Wales, July 2003 (AMS I.42787-001). Image: Carl Bento
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    decadactylus
    Genus
    Beryx
    Family
    Berycidae
    Order
    Beryciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 60 cm in length.

Introduction

The Imperador is a deepwater fish that inhabits temperate and tropical ocean waters nearly worldwide, with the exception of the north-eastern Pacific.

Identification

The Imperador has a deep compressed body. It has a single short-based dorsal fin. The anal fin has a much longer base and originates below the middle of the dorsal fin. The caudal fin is forked. The species has very large eyes, a large oblique mouth and small ctenoid scales. It is red to pink sometimes shading to a silvery pink below.

Habitat

It is found in depths from 180 m to 800 m.

Distribution

The species occurs in most temperate and tropical marine waters worldwide, with the exception of the north-eastern Pacific. In Australia it is known from off northern New South Wales to south-eastern Tasmania.

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



References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 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.
  2. Paxton, J.R. Berycidae in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem. 1999. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO. Rome Pp. iii-v, 2069-2790.
  3. Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & R.D. Ward. 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook, an identification guide to domestic species. CSIRO Marine Research. Pp. 461.