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Author: (Esmark, 1871)

Valenciennellus tripunctulatus (Esmark, 1871)

Diagnosis: body fusiform, mouth moderate, nearly vertical. Pseudobranch present; gillrakers on first arch 12 (13) + 2-3 (4) = 14-15 (16); branchiostegal rays 10, 3 on epihyal. Dorsal finrays 7-8 followed by a dorsal adipose fin; pectoral finrays 16-17; pelvic finrays (6) 7; anal finrays 24-25 its origin in advance of dorsal fin origin; anus nearer to anal fin than to peivic fin origin. Vertebrae 32-33. Photophores (adult): ORB l; BR (6); OP 3, OP3 single; VAV (S); AC in 5, occasionally 4, well-separated groups: usually (3) + (3) + (3) + (2) + (4); OA (2) + 3; IP (3) + (4); PV (15-18); latero-dorsal series of discrete melanophores along body. Size: male to 27 mm, female to 31 mm SL.

Habitat: oceanic, mesopelagic at 100-550 m, showing stratification of size with depth; generally non-migrant or only short diel vertical migrations; darkens body at night by pigment dispersion. Food: selective daytime feeder on copepods, mainly Pleuromamma, and ostracods, Conchoecia. Reproduction: dioecious; annual species probably spawning year round; female first maturity at about 25 mm SL; individuals probably spawning more than once with egg batches about 100-360 eggs/ovary pair, the number increasing with increased animal size; males ripe at 24 mm SL; post-larvae sink gradually with development; photophores develop over 8-17 mm SL, some of BR being first to appear.

Distribution: subtropical-tropical in North Atlantic, more abundant on eastern side, about 40° N to Gulf of Guinea; northern record 66° N, 28° W; rare in Mediterranean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Jespersen & Tåning, 1919: 224, fig. 16 | Grey, 1964: 231, fig. 59.
Otoliths (sagitta). Kotthaus, 1967: 22, fig. 31.

Valenciennellus tripunctulatus