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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Mainly inhabit tropical and subtropical waters; however, during the feeding period adults may migrate to the subarctic reaching as far north as Greenland, Iceland and the Bering Sea (Ref. 51887). Epipelagic- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters (Ref. 6011). Bathypelagic (Ref. 58302). Mainly nocturnal. Feed on fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans (Ref. 6011). Preyed upon by opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna, and fur seals (Ref. 6885). Oviparous, with planktonic larvae (Ref. 36025). Are synchronous hermaphrodites (Ref. 84733). Occasionally consumed but of little importance due to its soft flesh (Ref. 5217). The maximum weight given is for a 167 cm FL specimen (Ref. 42154).
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Greenland southward to the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico; Georges and LaHave Banks
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Range Description

The Longnose Lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) is widely distributed in subtropical and tropical waters and has been found in the eastern Pacific from the Aleutian Islands to Chile and in the western Pacific, from Japan to Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia (C. Roberts pers. comm. 2009). It also occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean off Natal, South Africa, and possibly the Maldives.
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Circumglobal: Western Pacific (Ref. 6885, 7300); Eastern Pacific: from the Aleutian Islands to Chile, also (Ref. 2850); Western Atlantic: Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, also (Ref. 7251); Eastern Atlantic (Ref. 4059). Indian Ocean (Ref. 57630). Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). South China Sea and East China Sea (Ref.74511).
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Circumglobal in tropical through cold temperate seas, including Hawaiian Islands.
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Widely distributed in the deep waters of the Atlantic, also reported in the northeastern Pacific.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder,W.C.,1953; Post, A., 1984; Ambrose, D.A., 1996.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 30 - 45; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 13 - 18; Vertebrae: 47 - 52
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Size

Maximum size: 2150 mm TL
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Max. size

215 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251)); max. published weight: 9,000 g (Ref. 42154)
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to 215 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 4,500 g .
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder,W.C.,1953; Post, A., 1984; Ambrose, D.A., 1996.
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Diagnostic Description

Mouth large with two erect fangs on palatines. Dorsal fin very high, about three rays beginning with third or fourth much exerted; adipose moderate in size, over posterior part of anal insertion (Ref. 6885). Generally pale, iridescent, darker dorsally; lateral adipose keel dark; all fins dark brown or black; peritoneum black (Ref. 6885). Branchiostegal rays: 7-8 (Ref. 36025).
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Type Information

Holotype for Alepisaurus ferox
Catalog Number: USNM 110141
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): A. Taylor
Year Collected: 1859
Locality: California, Monterey, Monterey County, California, United States, Pacific
  • Holotype: Gill, T. N. 1863. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 14: 129.
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Holotype for Alepisaurus ferox
Catalog Number: USNM 27705
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration
Collector(s): R. King
Year Collected: 1880
Locality: Iliuliuk, Unalaska, Unalaska Island, Alaska, United States, Aleutian Islands, Pacific
  • Holotype: Bean. April 1883. Bulletin of the United States National Museum. No. 16: 888.
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Type for Alepisaurus ferox
Catalog Number: USNM 9274
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): D. Hume
Locality: Puget Sound, Washington, United States, Pacific
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Marine

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Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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nektonic
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Epi- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters.
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Longnose Lancetfish can be found in the epipelagic zone, down to the bathypelagic, ranging from just beneath the surface to 1830 m depth. It is distributed through mostly tropical and subtropical waters, though adults migrate to the subarctic to feed. Individuals feed on fish, cephalopods, tunicates and crustaceans (Post 1984), however diet can vary according to region. Cannibalism has also been seen within this species (Potier et al. 2007). Adolescents are synchronous hermaphrodites (Smith and Atz 1973).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathypelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51887); marine; depth range 0 - 1830 m (Ref. 50550)
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Depth range based on 15 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 13 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 1420
  Temperature range (°C): 2.964 - 17.363
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.724 - 41.918
  Salinity (PPS): 31.906 - 35.107
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.559 - 7.340
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.285 - 2.917
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.847 - 133.284

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 1420

Temperature range (°C): 2.964 - 17.363

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.724 - 41.918

Salinity (PPS): 31.906 - 35.107

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.559 - 7.340

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.285 - 2.917

Silicate (umol/l): 1.847 - 133.284
 
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Depth: 1 - 1829m.
From 1 to 1829 meters.

Habitat: bathypelagic. May be found near the surface (Ref. 6885). Mainly nocturnal. Feeds on hatchetfishes, lanternfishes, hake, rockfishes, agonids, other lancetfish, @Gilbertidia@, and spiny lumpsuckers (Ref. 6885); also on tunicates, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Preyed upon by opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna, and fur seals (Ref. 6885). Possibly hermaphroditic.
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Bathypelagic; marine. Depth range: 1-1829 m. Epi- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters. Mainly nocturnal.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder,W.C.,1953; Post, A., 1984; Ambrose, D.A., 1996.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Swift swimmers. Mainly inhabit tropical and subtropical waters; however, during the feeding period adults may migrate to the subarctic reaching as far north as Greenland, Iceland and the Bering Sea (Ref. 51887). Epipelagic- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters (Ref. 6011). Bathypelagic (Ref. 58302). Mainly nocturnal. Feed on fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans (Ref. 6011). Preyed upon by opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna, and fur seals (Ref. 6885). For large fishes, the canibalism rate and the occurrence of large evasive prey and Sargassum seaweeds floating at the surface were greater than for small lancetfish (Ref. 75027). Often caught on tuna longlines (Ref. 58472). Cannibalism among lancetfish of the westernIndian Ocean appears to be an option for increasing adult survival during periods, or in areas of low prey abundance (Ref. 75026). May adapt its opportunistic foraging behavior, feeding on non-conspecific abundant prey such as crustaceans when available, and switching to a high level of conspecific predation in poor waters (Ref. 75026).Parasites of the species include nematode, tapeworm and a large muscular trematode (Profundiella alepisauri) (Ref. 5951).
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Feed on fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder,W.C.,1953; Post, A., 1984; Ambrose, D.A., 1996.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Diet

Fishes, cephalopods, tunicates and crustaceans
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Life Cycle

Oviparous. Gonads of adolescents are hermaphroditic, but there is no proof that the species is a functional hermaphrodite (Ref. 6011). However, further studies show that this species is a synchronous hermaphrodite where gonads consist of clearly defined and well separated ovarian and testicular regions with no indication of sequential maturation of the sex products (Ref. 84733).
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Reproduction

Oviparous, with planktonic larvae. Gonads of adolescents are hermaphroditic, but there is no proof that the species is a functional hermaphrodite.
  • Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder,W.C.,1953; Post, A., 1984; Ambrose, D.A., 1996.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Alepisaurus ferox

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AGTCTCCTTATCCGAGCCGAGCTAAGCCAACCCGGAGCCCTCCTGGGAGAT---GACCAAATCTATAACGTAATCGTAACCGCCCACGCCTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTCATAGTAATACCCGTTATAATCGGCGGGTTCGGAAACTGACTTATCCCCTTGATA---ATCGGGGCCCCTGACATAGCCTTTCCGCGAATGAACAACATGAGCTTCTGGCTACTTCCTCCATCCTTCCTCCTCCTCCTCTCCTCTTCAGCTGTTGAAGCTGGGGCCGGAACAGGGTGAACAGTCTACCCTCCTCTAGCTAGCAACTTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCGGTCGACCTG---ACCATCTTCTCTCTCCATCTGGCGGGTATTTCTTCTATCCTGGGGGCTATTAACTTCATCACAACAATTATTAACATGAAACCCCCGGCCATCACCCAATACCAAACTCCCCTGTTTGTTTGAGCCGTTCTAATTACCGCAGTCCTTCTCCTACTCTCCCTCCCCGTCCTAGCGGCA---GGCATCACTATGCTCCTTACAGATCGAAACCTAAACACAACCTTCTTTGACCCAGCCGGCGGGGGGGATCCAATTCTTTACCAACACCTCTTCTGGTTCTTTGGCCACCCAGAAGTTTACATCTTAATTCTTCCCGGCTTCGGAATGATCTCCCACATTGTTGCCTACTATTCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGCTACATGGGCATGGTCTGAGCAATGATAGCAATCGGACTTCTAGGTTTCATTGTCTGAGCA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CCTCCCATGTTTAC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Alepisaurus ferox

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Paxton, J.R.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

Justification
Alepisaurus ferox has been assessed as Least Concern. This is due to its widespread distribution across most of the world's ocean systems, and the depth at which it is found. Despite being taken as by-catch by the tuna longline fisheries, it is not targeted directly by any fishery, and has a broad distribution. Due to the deep-water nature of this species it is unlikely to be taken as by-catch my many other fisheries, and is unlikely to be impacted by any other human or climatic threats.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is frequently taken as by-catch by the longline tuna fisheries. Although sometimes eaten, Alepisaurus ferox is not a commercial species as it is not considered to be a favourable food fish. At present, the harvesting of this species is not considered a major threat as it is not targeted directly by the fishing industry, and lives at great depths.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place, or needed, for Alepisaurus ferox.
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Wikipedia

Alepisaurus ferox

The long-snouted lancetfish[2] or cannibal fish,[3][4] Alepisaurus ferox, is a species of lancetfish found in the ocean depths down to 1,830 m (6,000 ft). This species grows to 215 cm (85 in) in total length and a weight of 9 kg (20 lb).

It is often called the cannibal fish because it eats other lancetfish.[3]

Habitat and distribution[edit]

It lives in deep-water oceans in the Western and Eastern Pacific from the Aleutian Islands to Chile and the Western Atlantic from the Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, including the Caribbean Sea, and the Eastern Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Northwest Atlantic, and the China Sea.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

The dorsal fin of A. ferox has about three rays beginning with the third or fourth ray being strongly exerted. It is known to have a large mouth with two fangs. It is generally pale, iridescent, dark around the dorsal fin, and all of its fins are either dark brown or black.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Alepisaurus ferox" in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  2. ^ a b c "Alepisaurus ferox Lowe, 1833". FishBase. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Lallanilla, Marc (19 May 2014). "Scary Fanged Cannibal Fish Washes Ashore". Discovery Channel (in English). Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Docksai, Rick (19 May 2014). "Cannibal fish washes ashore in Nags Head, North Carolina" (in English). Science Recorder. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
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