Spangled Tubeshoulder, <i>Persparsia kopua</i> Click to enlarge image
A Spangled Tubeshoulder trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between the surface and 1202 m in international waters south of Norfolk Island, June 2003 (NMNZ P.39532). Image: Kerryn Parkinson
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    kopua
    Genus
    Persparsia
    Family
    Platytroctidae
    Order
    Argentiniformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 14 cm in length.

Introduction

The tubeshoulders have a shoulder sac which produces a luminous fluid. It has been suggested that this fluid could be ejected to distract an attacking predator in the same way cephalopods squirt ink.

Identification

The Spangled Tubeshoulder has an elongate, compressed body. It has short snout, large eyes and single rows of fine needle-like teeth in both jaws. The body is covered with small cycloid scales. The body is violet-black, the head often paler. The photophores on the lower sides of the head and body are white.


Spangled Tubeshoulder, Persparsia kopua (Phillipps, 1942)
A Spangled Tubeshoulder trawled during the NORFANZ expedition at a depth between the surface and 1202 m in international waters south of Norfolk Island, June 2003 (NMNZ P.39532). Image: K. Parkinson
© NORFANZ Founding Parties

Habitat

It is a mesopelagic species that occurs in southern temperate waters.

Distribution

The species is found worldwide, except off South America. In Australia it is known from off the central coast of New South Wales to off Tasmania.

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.



Other behaviours and adaptations

The tubeshoulders have a shoulder sac which produces a luminous fluid. It has been suggested that this fluid could be ejected to distract an attacking predator in the same way cephalopods squirt ink.

References

  1. Gomon, M.F. 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. 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. Matsui, T. & Rosenblatt, R.H. 1987. Review of the deep-sea fish family Platytroctidae (Pisces: Salmoniformes). Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 26: 1–159.