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Author: Rafinesque, 1810

Myctophum punctatum Rafinesque, 1810

Diagnosis: dorsal finrays 14 (13); anal finrays 20 (21-22); pectoral finrays 14 (15). Gillrakers 7 (6) + 1 + 17 (16-19), total 25 (22-27). AO 8 (7) + 9 (8), total 17 (15-16). Males with 2-4 overlapping luminous scales supracaudally; females with 4-5 (3) partially overlapping luminous patches infra-caudally. Size: to 107 mm.

Habitat: high-oceanic, mesopelagic. Mediterranean: day at 100-150 m and 700-1,000 m (maximum abundance at 700-800 m); nyctoepipelagic at surface and down to 190 m and at 700-800 m (maximum abundance at surface and at 40-45 m). Suggested size stratification with depth at night (Mediterranean), with smaller specimens in deeper water. Food: copepods, euphausiids, zoea stages of Brachyura and fish fry. Reproduction: caudal glands develop in males at 35 mm and in females at 38 mm; sexually mature from about 50 mm. Spawns in Atlantic south of the Secondary Polar Front(s) in late winter early spring, and in Mediterranean continuing at low level until summer.

Distribution: endemic Mediterranean and Atlantic: north temperate pattern (boreal subpattern), between about 65° and 35° N and in the Mauritanian upwelling region (15°-20° N), but isolates between 35° and 20° N along continental shelf margin.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Mazzarelli, 1910: 324, pl. 2 (fig. 1-4); 1912: 5, fig. pl. 1 (fig. 1-14), pl. 3 (fig. 29-32, 34, 36) | Sanzo, 1915: 1, fig. 1-3 | Tåning, 1918 57-63, fig. 19-20; 1932: pl. 111 (fig. 2) | Tortonese, 1956: 926-930, fig. 807-808, pl. 51 (fig. 8) | Moser & Ahlström, 1974: 400, fig. 5 C.
Otoliths (sagitta). Frost, 1926: 468, pl. 20 (fig. 13).

Myctophum punctatum