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Author: Giorna, 1809

Lophotus lacepedei Giorna, 1809

Diagnosis: body elongate, compressed, tapering to caudal fin. Head with an occipital crest extending forward slightly to beyond level of mouth, the latter small, weakly protrusible; teeth conical, set in 3 irregular rows in both jaws; a small patch of teeth on vomer. Dorsal fin long-based and low, with 220-260 finrays, the anterior ray elongate; anal fin short, with 18-20 finrays; pectoral fins with 13-15 finrays inserted horizontally, pelvic fins very small, with 5-6 finrays caudal fin small, pointed. Scales very thin, oblong, cycloid; lateral line present with smooth plates. Colour: blue dorsally, shading to white ventrally, with or without brilliant silvery spots; fins red or pinkish. Size: to 1.80 m

Habitat: mesopelagic; has the ability to discharge a black ink when alarmed, from an ink-sac in the cloaca. Food: fish (anchovies) and squids. Reproduction: pelagic eggs and larvae described in Mediterranean.

Distribution: Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic off Portugal and Madeira. Elsewhere, off the Canaries.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. D'Ancona, 1933: 279 | Sanzo, 1939: 121 | Sanzo, 1940: 1 | Sparta, 1954: 79.
Otoliths (sagitta). Bauzá-Rullán, 1961: 153.

Crested oarfish (Lophotus lacepedei)