Family Sternoptychidae

Species: Argyropelecus gigas

Common name: Giant hatchetfish


Description based on otoliths of one specimen of unknown FL. Otolith catalogue reference DMF60. Catch locality Southern Hills, Tasmania, unknown depth. ID by AW.

Otolith description

Otolith very small, tall. Dorsal margin lobed and irregular; ventral margin keeled and entire and becoming irregular in larger otoliths (Smale et al. 1995); posterior margin straight and slightly irregular. Distal surface convex; proximal surface concave. Sulcus groove deep, heterosulcoid, opening ostial. Colliculum heteromorph. Crista inferior well developed. Rostrum short and broad. Excisura small; notch absent. Dorsal area depression as trough along entire sulcus. Ventral area depression absent. Primordium lateral.


FL = 100.283 OW 0502 mm n = 11; Std Err Est = 0.798; R = 0.798; P<0.003 Otolith weigh range = 0.2-1.0 mg Fish length range = 39-101 mm FL (CMAR)

Distribution and ecology

New South Wales to Victoria, and Tasmania; also south Atlantic, south-east of Cape of Good Hope (Smale et al. 1995); occurs in 400-900 m depth (Williams and Koslow 1997); reaches 110 mm in length (Last et al. 1983).

Predator-prey information

None cited.

Otolith of Argyropelecus gigas from a fish of unknown length
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