Anomalops katoptron Bleeker, 1856, Manado, Sulawesi [Celebes], Indonesia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Flashlightfish, great flashlightfish, Indian flashlightfish, lanterneye fish; twofin flashlightfish; German: Lanternenfisch.
Reaches length of nearly 12 in (about 30 cm). The smaller splitfins average about 4 in (10.2 cm) and live in shallower areas. Color brownish black. Has the typical large eye of the beryciforms. They have two dorsal fins; the hindmost fin is triangular and much larger than the front dorsal fin. Two light organs are noticeable just beneath each eye.
Western South Pacific, from Malaysia east to the Tuamotu Archipelago, and from the Great Barrier Reef up to southern Japan.
Prefers deeper reef areas of 650–1,300 ft (200–400 m), but is also seen in depths as shallow as 65 ft (20 m). During the day, it remains hidden from sunlight, either in deep water or in dark caves. In winter months, the species aggregates in the warmer, shallower waters of the Philippines.
Fishes in this species have a light-producing organ, and regulate it using a muscular attachment that rotates the gland, either to allow the bioluminescent bacteria to shine forth or to hide the glow from view. The fishes can control the light, which they use to communicate with conspecifics. Splitfin flashlightfishes often travel in schools of 24 to 48 fish.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Uses its large light organ during feeding, which is primarily a nocturnal activity. These fishes shun even dim external light, opting to search for food before or after the moon has risen and set, or on nights of a new moon. Their diet is mainly zooplankton.
Little is known about the
of the splitfin flashlightfish, but they probably do not guard eggs.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Part of the aquarium trade; sometimes used as bait fish.
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