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Author: Risso, 1820

Alepocephalus rostratus Risso, 1820

Diagnosis: body fairly elongate and compressed, its greatest depth at origins of dorsal and anal fins. Head large, greater than body depth; eye large, equal or greater than snout, its hind margin at midpoint of head or nearer to snout tip; tip of upper jaw reaching to front margins of eye or pupil; gillrakers 6-8 + 1+ 15- 18 = 23-27. Pyloric caeca 19-28. Dorsal finrays 17-25, pectoral finrays 9-11, pelvic finrays 7-9, anal finrays 19-24, its origin opposite dorsal fin origin. Scales moderate, 50-55 in lateral line. Colour: dark purplish-brown; an unpigmented strip along dorsal and anal fin bases in juveniles. Size: to 47 cm.


Habitat: engybenthic over soft bottoms at about 300-3,600 m, normally 300-1,600 m; not commonly caught but perhaps abundant. Food: no data. Reproduction: no data.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward to southern Portugal, southern Bay of Biscay and off south-western Ireland; also western part of Mediterranean. Elsewhere, southward to the Cape Verde Is.; the western Atlantic record by Roule & Angel (1933) is doubtful.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Holt & Byrne, 1908: 34 (eggs) | Fage, 1910: 45, fig. 2 (questionable post-larva) | D'Ancona, 1931: 21, fig. 22-23 (questionable young stages).
Otoliths (sagitta). Vaillant, 1888: 149, pl. XI (fig. l-la).

Risso's smooth-head (Alepocephalus rostratus)