Bathysaurus mollis

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
BathysauridaeBathysaurus mollisGünther1878Highfin 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 mollis

Unique Characters: 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 .

Similar Species: Deepsea Lizardfish Bathysaurus ferox. 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.

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.