Bathysaurus ferox

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
BathysauridaeBathysaurus feroxGünther1878Deepsea Lizardfish

Family Bathysauridae — Large (to 70 cm) aulopiform fishes, Head very depressed; eyes small, set well back from snout. Mouth very large, upper jaw extending well beyond rear end of eye. Dorsal fin about equal to head length, inserted shortly behind pelvic-fin insertion, with 15-18 soft rays. Dorsal adipose fin present or absent. Anal fin posterior, with 11-14 soft rays. Pectoral fin with 15-17 soft rays, central ray or rays of pectoral fin usually prolonged. Pelvic fin with 8 soft rays, inner rays slightly shorter than outer rays. Procurrent and principle rays of caudal fin with a row of scales. Branchiostegal rays 8-13. Teeth present on vomer; gill rakers reduced to patches of spines on the arches.

Bathysaurus ferox

Unique Characters: Adipose fin absent. Central ray(s) of pectoral fin branched. Dorsal fin base much longer than head length. Snout ca. 2.5 times eye diameter, triangular, pointed. Nasal cirrus short, inconspicuous. 12 – 13 branchiostegal rays. 9- 11 mandibular pores. Flesh firm; skin opaque; body grey to brown.

Similar Species: Highfin Lizardfish Bathysaurus mollis. Adipose fin present. Central ray(s) of pectoral fin unbranched;. Dorsal fin base shorter than head length. Snout ca. 1.5 times eye diameter, broadly rounded; prominent. Elongate nasal cirrus present. 8 -9 branchiostegal rays. 7- 8 mandibular pores. Flesh flabby; skin translucent; body white to light grey. Postlarval pigment bars persisting in juveniles and small adults .

Reference – Sulak, K. J., C.A. Wenner, G.R. Sedberry, and L. Van Guelpen. 1985. The life history and systematics of deep-sea lizard fishes, genus Bathysaurus (Synodontidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology. 63: 623-642.