First record of deep-sea small eyed scabbard-fish from south eastern Arabian Sea

Aphanopus microphthalmus

Phylum: Chordata Haeckel, 1874

Class: Actinopterygii Klein, 1885

Order: Perciformes Bleeker, 1859

Family: Trichiuridae Rafinesque, 1810

Genus: Aphanopus Lowe, 1839

Aphanopus microphthalmus Norman, 1939

Collection: Southeastern Arabian Sea, 8.6° N, 76.2° E,  of 1000 m, on 24.10.2010. Demersal Trawl (HSDT-CV)

Voucher No.: CMLRE R.C. 281 03 05

Description: Key characters for identifying this species includes dorsal and anal fin counts; former with 43 spines and 53 soft rays; total 94 elements and latter with two spines; the first is diminutive, completely concealed, the second is very strong, dagger-like; its origin located at vertical through fourth dorsal-fin soft ray. Pelvic fins absent, caudal fin small and forked. Mouth and gill cavities are black. Maxillary extending below the anterior margin of the eye; lower jaw projected; premaxillary with three large canine teeth anteriorly, followed by smaller teeth; lower jaw also toothed. Gill rakers on first arch spinescent.

Remarks: Aphanopus microphthalmus Norman, 1939 is a rare benthopelagic deep-sea species. Occurrences of this species from the world Oceans are found to be scanty.

Distribution: Northern Indian Ocean,Western Indian Ocean, eastern South Atlantic and South China Sea at depth of 810 to 1022 m.

Distribution map:

Map showing locations of previous records (circle) and present record from Indian waters (square) of Aphanopus microphthalmus

Identified by: Rajeesh Kumar M P & Vinu Jacob

Publication: Rajeesh Kumar M. P.,Vinu Jacob, Sherine Sonia Cubelio and Sanjeevan V.N. (2014) First record of Aphanopus microphthalmus  Norman, 1939 (Teleostei :Trichiuridae ) from the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.) CheckList, Journal of species lists and distribution. 10(5): 1187–1188

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