Black lizardfish

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Black lizardfish
Bathysauropsis gracilis (Black Lizardfish).gif
Drawing by Dr Tony Ayling
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Aulopiformes
Family: Bathysauropsidae
Genus: Bathysauropsis
Species: B. gracilis
Binomial name
Bathysauropsis gracilis
(Günther, 1878)

The black lizardfish or deep-water greeneye, Bathysauropsis gracilis, is a grinner of the genus Bathysauropsis, found around the world in the southern oceans, at depths between 1,500 and 3,000 m. Its length is from 20 to 30 cm.

The lizardfishes (or typical lizardfishes to distinguish them from the Bathysauridae and Pseudotrichonotidae) are a family, the Synodontidae, of aulopiform fish. They are found in tropical and subtropical marine waters throughout the world. Lizardfishes are generally small fish, although the largest species are about 60 cm (24 in) long. They have slender, somewhat cylindrical bodies, and heads that resemble those of lizards. The dorsal fin is located in the middle of the back, and accompanied by a small adipose fin placed closer to the tail. They have mouths full of sharp teeth, even on the tongue. They are bottom-dwelling fish, living in shallow coastal waters; even the deepest dwelling lizardfish lives in waters no more than 400 m (1,300 ft). Some species in the subfamily Harpadontinae even live in brackish estuaries. They prefer sandy environments, and typically have body colours that help to camouflage them in such environments. The larvae of lizardfishes are free-swimming. They are distinguished by the presence of black blotches in their guts, clearly visible through their transparent, scale-less, skin.

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