Benthodesmus tenuis   (Gunther,  1877) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: JAMARC

Size: 50-230 cm SL (male/unsexed).

Color: Uniform brownish gray. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities black.

Body very elongate, compressed. Head 6.5 in standard length, 6.65 in total length. Depth of body 22.0 in standard length, 22.4 in total length. Eye diameter 5.5 in head, 2.2 in snout and 0.6 in somewhat flat interorbital space. Lower jaw prominent. Cleft of mouth wide, maxillary reaching almost to below front border of eye. A single row of large pointed teeth in each jaw; a pair anteriorly on each side of upper jaw enlarged. A row of very small teeth on palatines. Two ridges between interorbital space converging posteriorly forming an acute prominence. Origin of dorsal fin slightly behind a level from the hind border of preopercle. Anterior anal rays hidden below the skin. Origin of anal fin nearer to tip of snout than to base of caudal fin. Pectoral fin as long as snout and half eye diameter together. Ventral fins absent.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: 108; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 70; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 12.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Benthodesmus benjamini Fowler, 1938
(Junior synonym)
Lepidopus aomori Jordan & Snyder, 1901
(Junior synonym)
Lepidopus tenuis Gunther, 1877
(Senior synonym)
Benthodesmus tenuis Smith, 1949

Common Name (s)
• Smalleye Frostfish (English)
• Deep-sea Ribbonfish
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Coastal
Predator:  Galeus nipponensis


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Off South West Coast INDIA
• Kerala, Off Alleppey INDIA (Depth: 329.184 mts)
• Off South West Coast INDIA (Record: 01/1962-12/1968) (Depth: 101-450 mts)
• Off Kerala INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • 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
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Tholasilingam, T; Venkataraman, G and Krishna Kartha, KN (1964) On some Bathypelagic fishes taken from the Continental slope off the South West Coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Central Marine Fisheries Research Sub-Station, Ernakulam 6(2) 268-284 Available at -
  • Silas, EG (1969) Part-1 Exploratory otter trawling surveys by R.V. Varuna and other vessels operating in association with her from the continental shelf edge and the upper continental slope off the south-west coast of India Exploratory fishing by R.V. Varuna Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 12 7-51 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1969) Catalogue of fishes (excluding from the Laccadives) in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 10 1-38 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:2011-12-07

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