Alepisaurus ferox 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Aulopiformes Alepisauridae

Scientific Name: Alepisaurus ferox Lowe, 1833
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Long Snouted Lancetfish, Day Sarpon, Handsaw Fish, Lancetfish, Longnose Lancetfish, Longsnouted Lancetfish, Longsnout Lancetfish, Pacific Lancetfish, Wolffish
French Cavalo Féroce, Cavalo Ocelle, Lancier Longnez
Spanish Conejo, Conejo de lo Alto, Lanzon, Lanzón Nariz Larga, Lanzón Picudo
Alepidosaurus aesculapius (Bean, 1883)
Alepidosaurus borealis (Gill, 1862)
Alepidosaurus poeyi (Gill, 1863)
Alepidosaurus serra (Gill, 1862)
Alepisaurus altivelis (Poey, 1860)
Alepisaurus azureus (Valenciennes, 1850)
Alepisaurus richardsonii (Bleeker, 1855)
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 5 March 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 5 March 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-04
Assessor(s): Paxton, J.R.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.
Alepisaurus ferox has been assessed as Least Concern.  This is due to its widespread distribution across most of the world's ocean systems, and the depth at which it is found. Despite being taken as by-catch by the tuna longline fisheries, it is not targeted directly by any fishery, and has a broad distribution. Due to the deep-water nature of this species it is unlikely to be taken as by-catch my many other fisheries, and is unlikely to be impacted by any other human or climatic threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Longnose Lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) is widely distributed in subtropical and tropical waters and has been found in the eastern Pacific from the Aleutian Islands to Chile and in the western Pacific, from Japan to Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia (C. Roberts pers. comm. 2009). It also occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean off Natal, South Africa, and possibly the Maldives.
Countries occurrence:
Aruba; Australia; Canada; Cape Verde; Chile; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Ecuador; El Salvador; Faroe Islands; French Guiana; Greenland; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Iceland; Indonesia; Ireland; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Maldives; Mexico; Namibia; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Portugal; Réunion; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Africa; Suriname; Taiwan, Province of China; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – northwest; Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Mediterranean and Black Sea; Pacific – southeast; Pacific – northeast; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – western central; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):1830
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Longnose Lancetfish can be found in the epipelagic zone, down to the bathypelagic, ranging from just beneath the surface to 1830 m depth. It is distributed through mostly tropical and subtropical waters, though adults migrate to the subarctic to feed. Individuals feed on fish, cephalopods, tunicates and crustaceans (Post 1984), however diet can vary according to region. Cannibalism has also been seen within this species (Potier et al. 2007). Adolescents are synchronous hermaphrodites (Smith and Atz 1973).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested by recreational fishermen.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is frequently taken as by-catch by the longline tuna fisheries. Although sometimes eaten, Alepisaurus ferox is not a commercial species as it is not considered to be a favourable food fish. At present, the harvesting of this species is not considered a major threat as it is not targeted directly by the fishing industry, and lives at great depths.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place, or needed, for Alepisaurus ferox.

Citation: Paxton, J.R. 2010. Alepisaurus ferox. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154820A4641606. . Downloaded on 28 May 2018.
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