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Aphanopus Lowe, 1 839

Diagnosis: profile of head gently rising from tip of snout to dorsal fin origin; frontal ridges not elevated; nape flattened, without sagittal crest; lower hind margin of opercle convex. D XXXVIII-XLII + 53-57; A II + 44-48; P 12; V O (I in juveniles); spinous and soft portions of dorsal fin divided by notch, their bases subequal; second free spine before anal fin enlarged, dagger-like; external anal fin complete, its hinder rays better developed; pelvic fins absent in adults, of 1 spine in juveniles; caudal fin present, forked. Lateral line slowly descending from above gill opening to mediolateral position. Colour: coppery-black, with iridescent tint. Size: to 110 cm SL.

Habitat: oceanic benthopelagic on continental slope or underwater rises at about 200-1,600 m; juveniles mesopelagic. Migrating to midwater at night. Caught commercially with special deepwater lines off Madeira and, to a lesser extent, Portugal. Food: cephalopods, fishes, crustaceans. Reproduction: see family.

Distribution: eastern Atlantic, from Denmark Strait, Iceland and Norway (in northern waters only large-sized specimens) to Madeira and western North Africa. Elsewhere, known from many localities in Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Species: at least 2, of which 1 is recognized now and at least 1 more is to be described from out of the area; in Clofnam area 1.

Recent revision: Parin & Becker (1972).

Genus Aphanopus