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Author: Ayres, 1848

Malacosteus niger Ayres, 1848

Diagnosis: body moderately long, its depth 5 1/2 times or more in SL. Head large, its length 3-4 times in SL; snout shorter than eye diameter, a single nostril on each side; no chin barbel. Dorsal finrays 16-21; anal finrays 17-23; pectoral finrays 2-5; dorsal and anal fins partly covered by black skin; pelvic fins moderately long, 13-27% of SL, not attached to body by a membrane. Serial photophores inconspicuous; in ventral row from front of isthmus to tail 12-22, in lateral series to anal fin origin 7-15, single photophores or pairs separated widely; two rows of photophores on each side of isthmus; pre-orbital luminous organ absent; suborbital organ large and deep, its depth about half its length; post-orbital, 3 organ spherical, distant from eye; no pale luminous spots or lines on head. Colour: head and body black; no pale spots or lines on head. Size: to almost 24 cm.

Habitat, etc.: see family.

Distribution: northward to about 66° N between Greenland and Iceland and between Iceland and Scotland; apparently not present in the Norwegian Sea. Elsewhere, most of the Atlantic to about 20° S; Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Roule & Angel, 1930: 18 (questionable).
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Malacosteus niger