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Lanternfish

Lepidophanes guentheri, a species of the large group of lanternfish (or myctophid, family Myctophidae, 246 species, mykter = Greek for ‘nose’ and ophis for ‘serpent‘) shows a pattern of paired light-producing cells (photophores) located along the ventral sides and at the head. They serve to mask the fish by counterillumination and are used in intraspecific communication (shoaling, courtship). This rather small deep sea fish species (adult approx. 8 cm) performs diurnal vertical migrations: during daylight hours it can be found at depths of > 400m, at night it ascends to < 100 m. Its habitat is therefore the mesopelagic (or twilight) zone. The widely distributed and numerous species of the family of lanternfish account for a great part of the overall biomass of deep sea fish: about 65%. As such they play an important ecological role as prey species for all kinds of larger marine vertebrates (fish, sea birds, marine mammals). [size of single organism: 8 cm]

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Filename
20071121_pol0905a.jpg
Copyright
Solvin Zankl
Image Size
5400x3587 / 7.1MB
Contained in galleries
Deep sea | Tiefsee
Lepidophanes guentheri, a species of the large group of lanternfish (or myctophid, family Myctophidae, 246 species, mykter = Greek for ‘nose’ and ophis for ‘serpent‘) shows a pattern of paired light-producing cells (photophores) located along the ventral sides and at the head. They serve to mask the fish by counterillumination and are used in intraspecific communication (shoaling, courtship). This rather small deep sea fish species (adult approx. 8 cm) performs diurnal vertical migrations: during daylight hours it can be found at depths of > 400m, at night it ascends to < 100 m. Its habitat is therefore the mesopelagic (or twilight) zone. The widely distributed and numerous species of the family of lanternfish account for a great part of the overall biomass of deep sea fish: about  65%. As such they play an important ecological role as prey species for all kinds of larger marine vertebrates (fish, sea birds, marine mammals). [size of single organism: 8 cm]