Phosichthyidae

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lightfishes
Ichthyococcus ovatus.jpg
Ichthyococcus ovatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Stomiiformes
Family: Phosichthyidae
Genera

Ichthyococcus
Phosichthys
Pollichthys
Polymetme
Vinciguerria
Woodsia
Yarrella

Synonyms

Photichthyidae

Lightfishes are small stomiiform fishes in the family Phosichthyidae[1][2]

They are very small fishes found in oceans throughout the world: most species grow no longer than 10 cm, while those in the genus Vinciguerria only reach 4 cm or so.

They make up for their small size with abundant numbers: Vinciguerria is thought — with the possible exception of Cyclothone — to be the most abundant genus of vertebrates. Deep-sea trawls of the Humboldt Current in the southeast Pacific have found that lightfishes make up 85% by mass of mesopelagic fishes, with Vinciguerria lucetia by far the most numerous species.[3]

They are bioluminescent fishes, possessing rows of photophores along their sides, with which they hunt planktonic invertebrates, especially krill.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2006). "Phosichthyidae" in FishBase. January 2006 version.
  2. ^ "Phosichthyidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 29 March 2006. 
  3. ^ R. Cornejo, R. Koppelmann & T. Sutton. "Deep-sea fish diversity and ecology in the benthic boundary layer".