Family Phosichthyidae

Species: Phosichthys argenteus

Common names: Silver lightfish (silver lighthouse fish) Previous nomenclature: Photichthys argenteus


Description based on otoliths of one specimen of 223 mm FL. Otolith catalogue reference DMF61. Catch locality Southern Hills, Tasmania, unknown depth. ID by AW.

Otolith description

Otolith small, tear-drop shaped. Dorsal margin approximately flat and irregular; ventral margin rounded and slightly irregular to serrate beneath rostrum; posterior margin angular becoming rounded and slightly irregular. Distal and proximal surfaces flat/convex. Sulcus groove shallow, heterosulcoid, opening ostial. Colliculum homomorph, present in ostium and cauda. Crista superior and inferior well developed. Rostrum elongate tapering and pointed. Antirostrum small and rounded (Smale et al. 1995). Excisura wide; notch shallow; angle wide. Dorsal area depression shallow around posterior cauda. Ventral area depression anterior to sulcus. Primordium lateral.


(Note: Data includes juvenile and adult specimens.) FL = 94.538 OW 0361 mm n = 24; Std Err Est = 0.047; R = 0.994; P<0.001 Otolith weight range = 0.3-13.80 mg Fish length range = 77-246 mm FL (CMAR)

Distribution and ecology

Central New South Wales to Great Australian Bight Western Australia, and Tasmania; also New Zealand (Last et al. 1983), southern Africa and south Atlantic (Gomon et al. 1994); pelagic 500-1800 m depth; reaches 300 mm in length (Last et al. 1983).

Predator-prey information

Known prey of westland petrel (Procellaria westlandica) (Freeman 1998).

Otolith of Phosichthys argenteus from a fish of 223 mm FL
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