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Silver hatchetfishes
Temporal range: Mid-late Eocene to Present
40–0 Ma
Argyropelecus lychnus SI.jpg
Argyropelecus lychnus X-ray.jpg
Argyropelecus lychnus, conventional and X-ray images
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Stomiiformes
Family: Sternoptychidae
Subfamily: Sternoptychinae
Genus: Argyropelecus
Cocco, 1829
7 species

Argyropelecus is an oceanic ray-finned fish genus which belongs in the family Sternoptychidae. A collective name is "silver hatchetfishes", but this can also refer to a species of the freshwater hatchetfishes which are not particularly closely related but merely convergent. The large pupils of these marine hatchetfishes enable them to see dim objects in the deep sea, where light barely penetrates.


There are currently seven recognized species in this genus: [1]

Fossils of this genus show that they have existed at least since the mid-late Eocene, about 40 million years ago.[2]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Argyropelecus in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  2. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002): [Argyropelecus]. In: A compendium of fossil marine animal genera. Bulletin of American Paleontology 364: 560. HTML database excerpt

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