Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    micripnus
    Genus
    Opostomias
    Subfamily
    Melanostomiinae
    Family
    Stomiidae
    Order
    Stomiiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to at least 55 cm in length and is one of the largest species in the family Melanostomiidae.

Introduction

The Obese Dragonfish is a deepwater species that has large teeth and a long barbel. It occurs to depths of 5000 m, in the the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans

Identification

The Obese Dragonfish can be recognised by its scaleless, black body and large mouth with long fang-like teeth, the anterior-most in the lower jaw piercing the upper jaw. It has a chin barbel, photophores (light-producing organs) in rows along the body and a photophore behind and below both eyes. The dorsal fin is similar to the anal fin and located directly above it on the dorsal margin.

Habitat

The Obese Dragonfish is a deepwater pelagic species that occurs to depths of around 5000 m.

Distribution

The species occurs in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. In Australia it is known from New South Wales, Victoria and South 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.

Ozcam map of Obese Dragonfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=opostomias%20micripnus&zoom=off#mapView

References

  1. Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.