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Author: Richardson, 1844

Astronesthes niger Richardson, 1844

Diagnosis: serial photophores in lateral row (OA) 30-37, of which 17-23 behind pelvic fin insertion (VAL); 50 56 photophores in ventral row to tail (IC); ventral row forming a pronounced U-shaped bend between pectoral fin bases. Barbel up to 1.7 times head length, but usually much shorter than or about equal to head, distal third to half swollen. Dorsal finrays 14-17, usually 15-16. Colour: head and body black; larger specimens with pale patches on head anterior to eye, on upper jaw, above nostrils, above eye, and on body well above pectoral fin and above (sometimes also below) lateral photophore row between pelvic and anal fins. Size: to about 160 mm.

Habitat, etc.: see family. The most common species taken in surface nets at night.

Distribution: southern Bay of Biscay, but mostly south of 40° N. Elsewhere, throughout the Atlantic to almost 40° S; also Indian and western Pacific Oceans.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Roule & Angel, 1930: 17 (questionable).
Otoliths (sagitta). Weitzman, 1967b: 15.

Astronesthes niger