Myctophum spinosum   (Steindachner,  1867) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: SFSA

Size: 9.0 cm SL

Color: Dark blue above, silvery below.

Males with 6 luminous scales in the supracaudal gland, and females with 1-4 smaller scales in the infracaudal gland. Ctenoid scales on the anal fin base are with 1-2 posteriorly-directed spines, and posterolateral organ is well in advance of origin of adipose fin base, which separate M. spinosus from other species of the genus.
End of upper jaw slightly dilated, reaching not far behind posterior border of eye. Origin of dorsal before middle of length, somewhat behind origin of ventrals, ending slightly before origin of anal. Adipose fin above end of anal. Pectorals somewhat below middle of height of body, nearly reaching to vent. Caudal forked. Scales large, ctenoid, with many fine teeth, those of the ventral scales are large and few in number.
Dorsal spines (total): 0-0, Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-14, Anal spines: 0, Anal soft rays: 18-19. Anal organs are 13-15 in number.

Luminous organs: A small dorsal and ventral organ at the front margin of the orbit, two operculars, the larger dorsal one below the level of the ventral margin of eye, the smaller ventral one below it, on the level of the hindmargin of the upper jaw, 3 branchiostegals. Of the 5 Maculae pectorales between isthmusand ventrals, the 3 posterior ones are equidistant, but somewhat seperete of the two anterior ones. The posterior Maculae subpectorales below base of pectoral, obliquely before and below it the anterior one, which lies above the second Maculae pectorales. Maculae suprapectoralis above the anterior Maculae subpectorales nearer to base of pectoral than to lateral line. 4 Maculae ventrales, equidistant in a series between ventral and anus. 12-15 Maculae anales anteriores and posteriores in two groups, in the anterior 6-8 above the anterior 2/3 of the anal, in the second group 5-7, the two anterior of which lie above the end of the anal. The two Prc far distant from the Maculae anales anteriores and posteriores, a little obliquely arranged. Maculae supraventralis nearer to lateral line than to ventral fin. The 3 Maculae supraanales in an oblique or very slightly concave line, the inferior one above the space between the third and fourth Maculae ventrales, the middle one above the last Maculae ventrales, the upper and more distant one just below the lateral line in the vertical through the end of the dorsal. Pol slightly below the lateral line, above last Maculae anales anteriores and posteriores of the anterior group. About 7 supracaudal and 3 infracaudal luminous patches.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Scopelus spinosus Steindachner, 1867
Scopelus spinosus Lutken, 1892
Myctophum (Myctophum) spinosum Brauer, 1906
Dasyscopelus spinosus Gilbert, 1908
Myctophum spinosum Max Weber, 1913
Myctophum spinosum Weber and de Beaufort, 1913
Myctophum spinosus (Steindachner, 1867)
Scopelus cuvieri Castelnau, 1873

Common Name (s)
• Kelahi Fitham
• Lantern Fish
• Spiny Lanternfish
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Pelagic
Prey:  Zoobenthos
Predator:  Whales, dolphins


• Lakshadweep Sea (Lat: 10.05) (Long: 74.16) INDIA
• INDIA (Record: 02/1985-06/1987) (Depth: 40-400 mts)
• Lakshadweep Sea INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1965) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago E.J. Brill, Leiden, Holland 2 404 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Balachandran, K and Nizar, MA (1990) A check list of fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of India collected during the research cruises of FORV Sagar Sampada Proceedings of the first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada CMFRI, Cochin 305-324 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-10-13

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