Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Stomiiformes
(Lightfishes and dragonfishes) > Sternoptychidae
(Marine hatchetfishes) > Sternoptychinae
Etymology: Argyropelecus: Greek, argyros = silvered, silver + Greek, pelekys = axe (Ref. 45335). More on author: Cuvier.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathypelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 100 - 800 m (Ref. 4739). Deep-water; 65°N - 50°S
Eastern Atlantic: southern Iceland to Canary Islands and Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. South Pacific: between 30°S and 50°S.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 9.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27000)
Lower opercular spine downward and curved forward. Upper opercular spine short, directed outward. Ventral line of abdominal keel usually with a concave notch in front of anterior postabdominal spine (Ref. 37473).
Oceanic, mesopelagic with adults and juveniles at 200-800 m by day and 100 (sometimes shallower)-600 m by night, pre-metamorphic larvae at 100-300 m. Adults and juveniles make short diel vertical migrations. Dioecious, adult photophore complement acquired at about 16-17 mm SL (Ref. 4739). Feeds on crustaceans and small fishes (Ref. 35388).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Quéro, J.-C., J.C. Njock and M.M. de la Hoz, 1990. Sternoptychidae. p. 275-282. 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. 1. (Ref. 4462)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 5.1 - 13.3, mean 8.5 (based on 336 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.41 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (22 of 100) .