Caulophryne polynema 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Lophiiformes Caulophrynidae

Scientific Name: Caulophryne polynema Regan 1930
Regional Assessments:
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 3 February 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 5 February 2015).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-05-09
Assessor(s): Arnold, R.
Reviewer(s): Weller, S., Strongin, K., Polidoro, B. & Carpenter, K.E.
Caulophyrne polynema is widely distributed in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans where it is known from only 14 confirmed specimens. It is a deep-dwelling, meso-bathypelagic, rarely occurring species. It possibly occurs as bycatch in trawl fisheries, but is not utilized and has no major threats.It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Caulophyrne polynema is distributed in the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones of the eastern Atlantic and northeastern Pacific (Pietsch in press). It is known from widely scattered localities. In the Atlantic it ranges from Florida east to Madeira and south to Cape Verde, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Namibia as far south as 28 degrees South. It has also been identified from Iceland. In the eastern Pacific it has been collected off of the Hawaiian Islands and southern California and Baja. Specimens were taken by gear fishing between 585-2,000 m depth (Pietsch 2009). The holotype was captured off of Madeira by long line in deep water (Pietsch 2009). This species has been recorded off of Oahu at zero to 1,150 m depth (Mundy 2005). Vakily et al. (a study by FishBase on West African fishes; 2002) reports C. polynema as distributed off the Cape Verde Islands. 

Countries occurrence:
Angola; Bahamas; Bermuda; Canada; Cape Verde; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gambia; Guinea-Bissau; Iceland; Mauritania; Mexico; Morocco; Namibia; Portugal (Madeira, Selvagens); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Senegal; Spain (Canary Is.); Togo; United States (California, Florida, Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Johnston I., Midway Is., US Line Is.); Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – eastern central; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):2000
Upper depth limit (metres):585
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Caulophyrne polynema is a solitary species that does not occur abundantly (Pietsch in press). There are at least 14 known specimens of this species (Pietsch 2009).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Caulophyrne polynema is a deep-sea fish that inhabits the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones. It exhibits extreme sexual dimorphism. Females have a maximum size of 14.2 cm SL, while males are 1.6 cm SL. Females attract prey with an elongate first dorsal spine that has been modified as a lure. Males have highly developed sensory organs that allow them to find females at which point they will attach themselves to the body as a parasite that eventually becomes incorporated into the female's tissues and blood vessels (Pietsch in press). Vakily et al. (2002) describe C. polynema as bathypelagic with a maximum size of 2 cm SL off of West Africa.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Caulophyrne polynema is not utilized (Pietsch in press). This species may be caught in trawls off of Namibia (Bianchi et al. 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to Caulophyrne polynema.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for Caulophyrne polynema.

Citation: Arnold, R. 2015. Caulophryne polynema. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T21112867A21910120. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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