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Author: Günther, 1878

Cyema atrum Günther, 1878

Diagnosis: body compressed, band-like; trunk and tail of same length. Anterior nostrils tubular, posterior nostrils pore-like, close together in front of small eyes. Jaws produced into a greatly elongate and delicate beak; teeth minute, sharp, close-set, rasp-like on jaws and vomer. Gill openings small, lateral. Dorsal and anal fins well developed, beginning at the same level, confined to tail region and projecting as a pair of pointed lobes beyond caudal fin, which consists of a few short rays; pectoral fins present; pelvic fins absent. Lateral line with 90 pores. Vertebrae about 80. Colour: violet velvet-black or dark brown. Size: to 131 mm.

Habitat: bathy- and abyssopelagic down to 5,100 m. Food: carnivorous. Reproduction: very few data; leptocephalus larva with body very short and deep, easily recognized by having the fewest myomeres of any known eel larva, around 80.

Distribution: eastern Atlantic, from Gibraltar southward to the Azores and Madeira; not recorded from Mediterranean. Elsewhere, southward to southern Africa and widely distributed in all oceans.

Eggs, larvae and young stages.
Leptocephalus sp. Murray & Hjort, 1912: 93, fig. 79.
Leptocephalus cyematis atri Lea, 1913: 16, 11 fig., pl. 2 (6).
Leptocephalus F Roule, 1914a: 9, fig. 5-6; 1919: 105, pl. 7 (fig. 6).
Leptocephales de Cyema atrum: Roule & Bertin, 1929b: 101-108, pl. IX | Castle, 1964b: 77, fig. 1A-E.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Cyema atrum