Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Stomiiformes
(Lightfishes and dragonfishes) > Stomiidae
(Barbeled dragonfishes) > Malacosteinae
Etymology: Malacosteus: Greek, malakos = soft + Greek, osteon = bone (Ref. 45335); australis: Name from Latin austral, meaning southern, for the geographical range of this species.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathydemersal; depth range 500 - 2000 m (Ref. 78501). Subtropical; 25°S - 45°S
Circumglobal: subtropical and temperate waters of the southern hemisphere, 25°-45°S and equatorial Indian Ocean and Indo-Australasian Archipelago.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 16.6 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 78501); 19.2 cm SL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 18 - 23;
Vertebrae: 45 - 51. This species possess the following characters: in male, postorbital photophore (PO) 3.7-6.4% upper jaw length (UJL), 0.9-1.7% SL; female PO 2.5-4.4% UJL, 0.6-1.2% SL; IP photophores 5-7 in 3-7 clusters (Ref. 78501).
Only a few were caught above 500 m, thus it appears that this species does not regularly migrate on a diel basis out of the mesopelagic. With its large accessory orbital photophore (AO), this species likely uses this in employing a far-red visual system as part of its foraging strategy (Ref. 78501).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Kenaley, C.P., 2007. Revision of the stoplight loosejaw genus Malacosteus (Teleostei: Stomiidae: Malacosteinae), with description of a new species from the temperate Southern Hemisphere and Indian Ocean. Copeia 2007(4):886-900. (Ref. 78501)
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
): 1.2 - 2.1, mean 1.8 (based on 558 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.7 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .