Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    brevirostris
    Genus
    Alepisaurus
    Family
    Alepisauridae
    Order
    Aulopiformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    96 cm

Introduction

The Shortsnout Lancetfish is a slender species with large fangs. It occurs in deep temperate waters in most oceans.

Identification

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.

Habitat

It occurs at bathypelagic and mesopelagic depths.

Distribution

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.

Alepisaurus brevirostris

Ozcam map of Shortsnout Lancetfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=alepisaurus%20brevirostris&zoom=off#mapView

References

  1. 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.