Alepisaurus ferox


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Lancetfish Lancetfish Lancetfish



Mainly inhabit tropical and subtropical waters; however, during the feeding period adults may migrate to the subarctic reaching as far north as Greenland, Iceland and the Bering Sea. Epipelagic- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters. Mainly nocturnal. Feed on fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans. Preyed upon by opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna, and fur seals. Oviparous, with planktonic larvae. Are synchronous hermaphrodites. Occasionally consumed but of little importance due to its soft flesh. 


The Longnose Lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) is widely distributed in subtropical and tropical waters and has been found in the eastern Pacific from the Aleutian Islands to Chile and in the western Pacific, from Japan to Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. It also occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean off Natal, South Africa, and possibly the Maldives.


The Longnose Lancetfish can be found in the epipelagic zone, down to the bathypelagic, ranging from just beneath the surface to 1830 m depth. It is distributed through mostly tropical and subtropical waters, though adults migrate to the subarctic to feed. Individuals feed on fish, cephalopods, tunicates and crustaceans, however diet can vary according to region. Cannibalism has also been seen within this species. Adolescents are synchronous hermaphrodites.




Major Threats

This species is frequently taken as by-catch by the longline tuna fisheries. Although sometimes eaten, Alepisaurus ferox is not a commercial species as it is not considered to be a favourable food fish. At present, the harvesting of this species is not considered a major threat as it is not targeted directly by the fishing industry, and lives at great depths.
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