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Author: Bellotti, 1883

Facciolella oxyrhyncha Bellotti, 1883

Diagnosis: body very elongate, scaleless, subcylindrical anteriorly, compressed behind anus and tapering to a point; anus at about first third of body length. Head long, anterior nostril near the top of prominent snout tip, encircled by a little collar; posterior nostril a cleft under a cutaneous fold at level of lower eye margin. Jaws elongate, the upper with prominent tip, longer than lower, rictus below posterior eye margin. Teeth conical, in bands on jaws and vomer, only those of outer rows smaller than the others; palato-pterygoid teeth usually absent; upper pharyngeal plates lozenge-shaped, lower plates lanceolate. Gill openings crescentic, ventral. Dorsal, anal and caudal fins confluent; dorsal fin origin behind gill opening. Lateral line with 42-64 preanal pores, 7-11 before gill openings; 1 supra- temporal pore. Vertebrae: total 240- 250; abdominal 46-5O (larvae 238-261 myomeres; preanal 62-67). Colour: silvery, particularly pronounced on back; posterior part of dorsal, anal and caudal fins with a black margin; after preservation body brownish, paler below. Size: to 65 cm.

Habitat: mainly bathybenthic down to 730 m, but occurring also in lower zone of continental shelf. Young sometimes in caves, larger specimens caught deeper. Food: carnivorous, mainly decapod natantia. Reproduction: gravid females observed practically throughout the year; larvae identified by Grassi (1913) under the name Saurenchelys cancrivora.

Distribution: Mediterranean (Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas), eastern Atlantic to southern Portugal and Madeira. Larvae west to the Azores and south to about 28° N off African coast.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Bellotti, 1883: 176 (Leptocephalus oxyrhynchus) | Grassi & Calandruccio, 1892: 379 | Jordan & Davis, 1892: 685 | Grassi & Calandruccio, 1895: 5 | Grassi, 1896: 372; 1897a: 261 | Facciolà, 1901a: 59 | Eigenmann, 1902a: 39 | Schmidt, 1906a: 149; 1912b: pl. 4 | Lea, 1913: 31, fig. 32, pl. 4 (4) | Grassi, 1913: 166, pl. 9 (fig. 26-34), pl. 14 (fig. 1-2); 1914a: 41, fig. 4 | Bertin, 1926: tab. 6 | Fish, 1927: 307 | Ancona, 1931d: 128, fig. 92-93 | Sanzo, 1938: 3, fig. 1-12 (as Saurenchelys cancrivora) | Blache, 1963: 18, pl. 30 (as Leptocephale 12) | Saldanha & Blache, 1968: 195, fig. 10-14 (as L. Facciolella physonema, but in fact L. Hoplunnis schmidti) | Blache, 1977: 174 (leptocephali).
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Facciolà's sorcerer (Facciolella oxyrhyncha)