Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Aulopiformes
(Grinners) > Alepisauridae
Etymology: Alepisaurus: Greek, alepis, -idos = without scales + Greek, sauros = lizard (Ref. 45335); ferox: The specific name is derived from ferox, meaning ferocious (Ref. 6885). More on author: Lowe.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathypelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51887); depth range 0 - 1830 m (Ref. 50550). Deep-water; 84°N - 57°S, 180°W - 180°E
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 215 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 9.0 kg (Ref. 42154)
soft rays: 13 - 18;
Vertebrae: 47 - 52. Mouth large with two erect fangs on palatines. Dorsal fin very high, about three rays beginning with third or fourth much exerted; adipose moderate in size, over posterior part of anal insertion (Ref. 6885). Generally pale, iridescent, darker dorsally; lateral adipose keel dark; all fins dark brown or black; peritoneum black (Ref. 6885). Branchiostegal rays: 7-8 (Ref. 36025).
Circumglobal: Western Pacific (Ref. 6885, 7300); Eastern Pacific: from the Aleutian Islands to Chile, also (Ref. 2850); Western Atlantic: Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, also (Ref. 7251); Eastern Atlantic (Ref. 4059). Indian Ocean (Ref. 57630). Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). South China Sea and East China Sea (Ref. 74511).
Mainly inhabit tropical and subtropical waters; however, during the feeding period adults may migrate to the subarctic reaching as far north as Greenland, Iceland and the Bering Sea (Ref. 51887). Epipelagic- and mesopelagic, from near the surface to below 1,000 m, sometimes approaching inshore waters (Ref. 6011). Bathypelagic (Ref. 58302). Mainly nocturnal. Feed on fishes, cephalopods, tunicates, and crustaceans (Ref. 6011). Preyed upon by opah, sharks, albacore, yellowfin tuna, and fur seals (Ref. 6885). Oviparous, with planktonic larvae (Ref. 36025). Are synchronous hermaphrodites (Ref. 84733). Occasionally consumed but of little importance due to its soft flesh (Ref. 5217). The maximum weight given is for a 167 cm FL specimen (Ref. 42154).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous. Gonads of adolescents are hermaphroditic, but there is no proof that the species is a functional hermaphrodite (Ref. 6011). However, further studies show that this species is a synchronous hermaphrodite where gonads consist of clearly defined and well separated ovarian and testicular regions with no indication of sequential maturation of the sex products (Ref. 84733).
Post, A., 1984. Alepisauridae. p. 494-495. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 6011)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (83 of 100) .