Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Stephanoberyciformes
(Pricklefishes, bigscales and gibberfishes) > Melamphaidae
(Bigscale fishes or ridgeheads)
Etymology: Melamphaes: Greek, melan, -anos = black + Greek, amphi = both side (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathypelagic; depth range 200 - 2250 m (Ref. 51657). Deep-water; 34°N - 31°S
Circumtropical in North Atlantic (3°56'N, 12°33'W and 10°21'N, 17°59'W in the eastern Atlantic). Indo-Pacific: including Japan (Ref. 599) and New Zealand (Ref. 5755). Southeast Pacific: Chile (Ref. 9068).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 6.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 87970)
soft rays: 7 - 8. The species is characterized by the following: first gill arch with 20-22 rakers; vertebrae 29 (28-30 reported by Ebeling, 1962), abdominal vertebrae 11 (rarely, 12); two ventrolateral-oriented spurs on the haemal arch of the first caudal vertebra; D III 14-15 (rarely, III 13); P 15; soft rays in the ventral fin 7; ventral fin starts after the vertical line of the posterior margin of the pectoral fin basement (rarely, from this vertical line); anal fin starts under the last ray of the dorsal fin or just after the dorsal fin; operculum with 4 scales (Ref. 87970).
This species is caught by open-mouth nets at 4228-0 m, with original sampling done by closing-mouth nets at 1000 m (Ref. 87970).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Maul, G.E., 1990. Melamphaidae. p. 612-618. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 4502)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 3.4 - 10.6, mean 6.4 (based on 1720 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00382 - 0.02615), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.2 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100) .