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Author: Gill, 1884

Xenodermichthys copei Gill, 1884

Diagnosis: head moderate, less than one-third of body; snout short, its profile steep; eye large, much greater than snout: upper jaw reaching to about eye centre; gill opening unrestricted above pectoral fin base. Dorsal fin fairly long, with 27-31 finrays; anal fin similar and below it, with 26-30 finrays. Scattered light organs on body, like nodules; scales absent. Vertebrae (pre-ural) 46-50. Colour: black. Size: to 17 cm.

Habitat: mesopelagic, usually near continental slopes at about 100-1,000 m. Food: primarily crustaceans (euphausids, copepods, amphipods and decapod zoea), also ostracods and small cephalopods. Reproduction: ovarian eggs large (to 2.7 mm in diameter) and few (151 in a female of 15.6 cm); spawning from September to November on or near the bottom.

Distribution: throughout southern part of area from Madeira, the Azores and off Marocco northward to Iceland. Elsewhere, widely distributed in Atlantic; also Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Roule & Angel, 1930: 12-13, pl. I (fig. 5) | Beebe, 1933: 87-90 (adolescents).
Otoliths (sagitta). Vaillant, 1888: 164, pl. XIII (fig. Id-e).

Bluntsnout smooth-head (Xenodermichthys copei)