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A Leptochilichthys seen in the abyss of the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientific classification
Bonaparte 1846

Garman, 1899


Leptochilichthys is a genus of marine smelts containing four species.[2] Leptochilichthys is the only genus in the former family Leptochilichthyidae but is now included within the broader family Alepocephalidae.[3][4]


The currently recognized species in this genus are:[5]


Species in genus Leptochilichthys have toothless maxillae. The maxillae are considered especially long There are teeth on the palate and dentary. Many long gill rakers are also present. This genus does not exhibit any shoulder sac apparatus. Thirteen branchiostegal rays support the gill membranes behind the lower jaw. There may be 11 to 21 dorsal fin rays, and 11–18 anal fin rays. These species have 47–64 lateral line scales. Species of this genus have between 47 and 58 vertebrae. They can reach up to 31 cm (12 in) in length.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Leptochilichthys species are found in deep sea regions in the eastern Atlantic, western Indian, and eastern and western Pacific Oceans. They are most commonly found at depths of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and below, but are in general not well known.[2]

Some species in this genus, particularly L. agassizii, may be bathypelagic.[6]


  1. ^ "Leptochilichthys". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). "Leptochilichthyidae" in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  3. ^ Sazonov, Y.I.; D.F. Markle. "BONY FISHES" (PDF). fao.org. pp. 1888–1893.
  4. ^ R. Betancur-Rodriguez, E. Wiley, N. Bailly, A. Acero, M. Miya, G. Lecointre, G. Ortí: Phylogenetic Classification of Bony Fishes – Version 4 (2016)
  5. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Leptochilichthys in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  6. ^ Anderson, M. Eric; Roy E. Crabtree; H. Jacque Carter; Kenneth J. Sulak; Michael D. Richardson (1985). "DISTRIBUTION OF DEMERSAL FISHES OF THE CARIBBEAN SEA FOUND BELOW 2,000 METERS" (PDF). Bulletin of Marine Science. 37 (3): 794–807. Retrieved 17 February 2010.