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Temporal range: Early Oligocene to Present
40–0 Ma
Sternoptyx diaphana1.jpg
Diaphanous Hatchetfish (S. diaphana)
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Stomiiformes
Family: Sternoptychidae
Subfamily: Sternoptychinae
Genus: Sternoptyx
Hermann, 1781

Sternoptyx is an oceanic ray-finned fish genus which belongs in the family Sternoptychidae. This is the type genus of the Sternoptychidae, as well as the marine hatchetfish subfamily Sternoptychinae.

Sternoptyx have silvery, high, and laterally compressed bodies and large, non-telescopic eyes.[1] They are all relatively small, with even the largest species (S. pseudobscura and S. pseudodiaphana) not exceeding 60 millimetres (2.4 in) standard length.[2]


There are currently four recognized species in this genus:[2]

Fossils of this genus show that they have existed at least since the Early Oligocene, about 30 million years ago.[3]


  1. ^ Baird, R. C. (1971). "The systematics, distribution, and zoogeography of the marine hatchetfishes (family Sternoptychidae)". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 142: 1–128. 
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Sternoptyx in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  3. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002): [Sternoptyx]. In: A compendium of fossil marine animal genera. Bulletin of American Paleontology 364: 560. HTML database excerpt