Promethichthys prometheus (Cuvier, 1832)
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Promethichthys prometheus
photo by Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N. (c)ImagDOP

Family:  Gempylidae (Snake mackerels)
Max. size:  100 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; marine; depth range 80 - 800 m, oceanodromous
Distribution:  Tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but absent from eastern Pacific except at Sala y Gomez Ridge.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 18-20; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-20; Anal spines: 2-3; Anal soft rays: 15-17. Body moderately elongate. Mouth with fang-like teeth. Spinescent gill rakers on the first arch with 1 - 3 cusps and many small spines; the angular raker long and triple-rooted. Body entirely scaled at over 20 - 25 cm SL. Pyloric caeca 7 or 8. Color is grayish to copper brown; fins blackish at over 40 cm SL, yellowish with black tips in smaller specimens (the first dorsal fin with a black blotch on two anteriormost membranes); the buccal and branchial cavities are black. Pelvic fin reduced to one spine that becomes entirely absent in specimens more than 40 cm SL.
Biology:  Found at continental slopes, around oceanic islands and submarine rises (Ref. 6181). Meso-benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Migrate to midwater at night (Ref. 6181). Feed on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans (Ref. 6181). Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6766).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 22 August 2012 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
Country info:  A rare mesopelagic species reported from Cabalian, Leyte and off Lubang Island (Ref. 6956). Museum: Western Calatagan, Batangas, UPZM 5452 (Ref. 6956). Also Ref. 6181.

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