Gephyroberyx darwinii (Johnson, 1866)
Darwin's slimehead
photo by Delph, R.

Family:  Trachichthyidae (Slimeheads)
Max. size:  60 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; depth range 9 - 1210 m
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: Madeira and the Canary Islands to Senegal, Gulf of Guinea and South Africa. Western Atlantic: southern Scotian Shelf, Canada to Greater Antilles, western Caribbean, Panama and northern Gulf of Mexico (Ref. 7334). Indo-Pacific: off Natal (South Africa), Bay of Bengal, southern Australia, Chatham Plateau around New Zealand, and the Philippines (Ref. 4181). Also in northern South America (Moore, pers. comm.).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 7-8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-14; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 11-12. Head with a concave forehead profile and with large mucous cavities covered by tough skin; mouth large and oblique; opercle and preopercle each with a large strong spine; body deep, about 2.1 times in SL; ventral keel with 10 - 14 very robust scutes; caudal fin forked but rounded. Color of head and body is dusky pink, sides with silvery tinge, fins red; tongue and gill cavity blackish; palate white to red (Ref. 7331). Pale beet red to light rosy. Back light red to brownish red, lower sides light silvery gray (Ref. 37108).
Biology:  Lives close to or on the bottom of the upper continental slope. Prefers hard substrates. Young specimens feed on small shrimps and fish (Ref. 4784). A deep sea species, nonetheless, the young are often found near the coast (Ref. 9137). Utilized as fishmeal and source of oil in eastern central Atlantic (Ref. 3695).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 19 May 2013 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 06.02.92
Modified by: Sta. Iglesia, Drina - 20.01.05
Checked by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 09.11.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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