It is a widespread marine fish, known from shallow tropical waters in the south-eastern Atlantic, from the western Pacific off Australia and New Zealand, and from the eastern Pacific off Chile. It is one of the few species of lanternfishes to inhabit shallow waters, and in those waters it is one of the most abundant species of fish, and central to the food chain of the upper continental slope. The abundance is due to its high fecundity — it spawns multiple times in the winter so that the fry can take advantage of the spring bloom of krill.
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