Temperate Oceans Animals

Class: Fishes: 4 classes Diet: Plankton
Order: Myctophiformes: Lanternfishes
Size: 10 cm (4 in)
Family: No Fish family information Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Myctophum punctatum Habitat: deep sea
Range: Northern Atlantic Ocean; Mediterranean Sea

Size of LanternfishTypical of its family, with its blunt, rounded head and large eyes, the lanternfish has many light-producing organs, or photophores, arranged in short rows and groups on its body. Young fish start to develop their light-producing organs when they are about 2 cm (3/4 in) long, and the arrangement differs in males and females. The function and value of these photophores are not yet fully understood. They may help the fish to illuminate the dark depths and find prey, or may be used to confuse predators; the lanternfish has photophores on its tail and is said to lash its tail to and fro to dazzle an enemy.  Lanternfishes feed on tiny planktonic animals, making vertical migrations of as much as 400 m (1,300 ft) or more to follow the nightly movements of the plankton to surface waters. They move in large schools and, in the Mediterranean area, are known to breed from April to July.

Range of Lanternfish
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