Alepisaurus ferox   Lowe,  1833 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: CAFS

Size: 215 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Max. published weight: 9,000 g

Color: Light with small melanophores on sides. Fin membrane without white spots.

Body elongate, compressed. Head 5.0-5.5, depth of body 11-13, both in standard length. Snout pointed, about twice eye diameter. Teeth unequal, the anterior teeth on premaxillary larger and curved. Palatine teeth compressed, triangular, 2 or 3 anterior ones long fangs. Mandibular teeth moderate, 2 or 3 median pairs much enlarged. Origin of dorsal fin above level of posterior margin of operculum; first few rays of the fin elongate and often free from membrane; rest of the fin more or less of even height upto a point halfway between ventral and anal fins, after which the rays become abruptly shorter. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than head. Upper caudal fin lobe sometimes produced. Lateral line spongy, slightly stands out from body.

True hermaphrodites, external fertilization, nonguarders. Oviparous, with planktonic larvae. Gonads of adolescents are hermaphroditic, but there is no proof that the species is a functional hermaphrodite.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Alepisaurus ferox Lowe 1833
Alepidosaurus aesculapius Bean 1883
(Junior synonym)
Alepidosaurus borealis Gill 1862
(Junior synonym)
Alepidosaurus poeyi Gill 1863
(Junior synonym)
Alepidosaurus serra Gill 1862
(Junior synonym)
Alepisaurus altivelis Poey 1860
(Junior synonym)
Alepisaurus azureus Valenciennes 1850
(Junior synonym)
Alepisaurus borealis Gill 1862
(Junior synonym)
Alepisaurus ferox Lowe 1833
(Senior synonym)
Alepisaurus richardsonii Bleeker 1855
(Junior synonym)
Plagyodus aesculapius (Bean) 1883
(Junior synonym)
Plagyodus borealis (Gill) 1862
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Lancetfish (English)
• Longnose Lancetfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Pelagic
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans
Predator:  Opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna and fur seals



Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Romanov, EV and Zamorov, VV (2002) First record of a yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) from the stomach of a longnose lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) Fishery Bulletin (Seattle) 100(2) 386-389 Available at - ZOOR13800038976
  • Suppa, M; Suebsin, S; Suri, V and Songsirikul, T (1997) Checklist of fishes in Thailand Office of Environmental Policy and Planning 1-353 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • 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 -
  • 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:2011-10-12

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