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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Benthopelagic and mesopelagic in slope and near continental and island waters (Ref. 9835, 11230). Found in 130-300 m during the day and in 10-200 m at night (Ref. 4066). Feeds in the evening (Ref. 9191). Feeds on mainly on copepods and various crustacean larvae. Lipid content is 4.6 % in fresh body weight (Ref. 8966).
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Distribution

Range Description

The distribution of the Skinnycheek Lanternfish (Benthosema pterotum) extends from Mozambique to the Gulf of Oman, east to the Bay of Bengal, Indonesia and western Australia, and north to Japan (J.R. Paxton pers.comm. 2008).
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Indo-West Pacific: Arabian Sea to about 25°S off Mozambique and to the western Pacific region. Occurrence in the northwest Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans need confirmation (Ref. 9835). Southeast Atlantic: Larvae were present in cruise collections off the eastern coast of South Africa, however, adults have not been reported in this area (Ref. 41388).
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Red Sea, Indo-Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13 - 14; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 17 - 22
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Size

Maximum size: 70 mm TL
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Max. size

7.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9835))
  • Paxton, J.R. and P.A. Hulley 1999 Myctophidae. Lanternfishes. p. 1957-1964. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the WCP. Vol. 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9835)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9835&speccode=10238 External link.
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Inhabits slope and near continental/island waters (Ref. 9835). Feeds in the evening/night (Ref. 9191). Copepods and various crustacean larvae seem to be the dominant food items. Lipid content is 4.6 % in fresh body weight (Ref. 8966).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Type Information

Type for Benthosema pterotum
Catalog Number: USNM 55900
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration
Collector(s): C. Pierson
Locality: Bulan, Sorsogon; Luzon, Philippine Islands, Luzon, Sorsogon, Philippines, Philippine Archipelago, Pacific
  • Type:
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Cotype for Benthosema pterotum
Catalog Number: USNM 126397
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): C. Peirson
Year Collected: 1903
Locality: P.I. Bulan, Philippines, Pacific
  • Cotype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Skinnycheek Lanternfish, Benthosema pterotum, is a benthopelagic and mesopelagic species that is typically found on the edge of the continental slope and around islands. This species has a depth range of 10-300 m. During the day it is found at a depth of 130-300 m and at night it migrates up to a depth range of 10-200 m. It feeds mainly on copepods and various crustacean larvae.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathypelagic; marine; depth range 10 - 300 m (Ref. 4066)
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Depth range based on 16 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 33 - 1450

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 33 - 1450
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 10 - 300m.
From 10 to 300 meters.

Habitat: bathypelagic.
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Trophic Strategy

Benthopelagic and mesopelagic in slope and near continental and island waters. Found in 130-300 m during the day and in 10-200 m at night (Ref. 4066). Feeds in the evening (Ref. 9191). Feeds on mainly on copepods and various crustacean larvae.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Benthosema pterotum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

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. and Livingston, F.

Justification
Benthosema pterotum has been assessed as Least Concern. Although this species is harvested as a food source, at present it is only of minor commercial importance to fisheries and the harvesting of this species is not likely to occur throughout its broad distribution. This species is reported to be the most dominat fish species in areas of its range and at present there is no reports of this species suffering any significant population declines. Due to the potential for increased exploitation of Benthosema pterotum, monitoring of the harvest levels and extent of harvest of this species is needed to determine if this threat is likely to become more widespread tin the future.
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Population

Population
The mesopelagic fish community in the Gulf of Oman is reported to be dominated by Skinnycheek Lanternfish (Dalpadado and Gjøsæter 1988). An estimate of the biomass in the Gulf of Oman ranges from 1- 4 million tonnes (Valinassab, Pierce and Johannesson 2007).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There is large potential for future commercial exploitation of this species for use as fish meal (Dalpadado 1988), however at present the trawling of this species is not economically viable (Valinassab, Pierce and Johannesson 2007).
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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 Benthosema pterotum.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: high; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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