Animal Species:Obese Dragonfish, Opostomias micripnus (Günther, 1878)
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
Standard Common Name
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.
It grows to at least 55 cm in length and is one of the largest species in the family Melanostomiidae.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The Obese Dragonfish is a deepwater pelagic species that occurs to depths of around 5000 m.
- Gomon, M.F., Bray, D. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 2008. The Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Reed New Holland. Pp. 928.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow