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Alepisaurus ferox

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII AULOPIFORMES ALEPISAURIDAE

Scientific Name: Alepisaurus ferox
Species Authority: Lowe, 1833
Common Name/s:
English Longnose Lancetfish, Wolffish, Lancetfish, Day Sarpon, Longsnouted Lancetfish, Long Snouted Lancetfish, Longsnout Lancetfish, Pacific Lancetfish, Handsaw Fish
French Cavalo Féroce, Cavalo Ocelle, Lancier Longnez
Spanish Conejo, Conejo de lo Alto, Lanzon, Lanzón Nariz Larga, Lanzón Picudo
Synonym/s:
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 borealis Gill, 1862
Alepisaurus richardsonii Bleeker, 1855

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.
Justification:
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:
Native:
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:
Native:
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
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no population information available for this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

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).
Systems: Marine

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.

Bibliography [top]

Ambrose, D.A. 1996. Alepisauridae: lancetfishes. In: H.G. Moser (ed.), The early stages of fishes in the California Current region. CalCOFI Atlas 33, pp. 379-381. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas.

Brito, A. 1991. Catalogo de los pesces de las Islas Canarias. La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.

Caldwell, K.D. 1966. Marine and freshwater fishes of Jamaica. Institute of Jamaica (Original from University of Texas).

Chen, S. 2002. Fauna Sinica. Ostichthyes. Myctophiformes, Cetomimiformes, Osteoglossiformes. Science Press, Beijing, China.

Crawford, D.R. 1929. Further records of Alepisaurus ferox from the Aleutian Islands. Copeia 171: 39.

Economidis, P.S. 1973. Catalogue of the fishes of Greece. Reprinted from Hellenic Oceanology and Limnology.

Economidis, P.S. 2001. Common names of Hellenic marine fishes. Unpublished Technical Report. Aristotle University.

Edwards, A. 1990. Fish and fisheries of Saint Helena Island. University of Newcastle Centre for Tropical Coastal Management Studies, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1998. Catalog of fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA.

Francis, M.P. 1981. Meristic and morphometric variation in the lancet fish Alepisaurus, with notes on the distribution of A. ferox and A. brevirostris. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 8(3): 403-408.

Fricke, R. 1999. Fishes of the Mascarene Islands (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodriguez): an annotated checklist, with descriptions of new species. Theses Zoology, Königstein, Germany.

Hart, J.L. 1973. Pacific fishes of Canada. Bulletin Fisheries Research Board Canada 180: 740.

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. and Allen, G.R. 2006. Fishes. In: P.L. Beesley and A. Wells (eds), Zoological Catalogue of Australia, pp. 2178. Australian Biological Resources Study and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia.

Huang, Z. 2001. Marine species and their distribution in China's seas. Krieger Publishing Company, Florida, USA.

Hubbs, C.L. 1955. Occurrence of the Lancet Fish, Alepisaurus ferox, in the Gulf of Mexico. Copeia 1955(2): 148-149.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Jonsson, G. 1992. Islenskir fiskar. Fiolvi, Reykjavik.

Maul, G.E. 1961. The ceratioid fishes in the collection of the Museu Municipal do Funchal (Melanocetidae, Himantolophidae, Oneirodidae, Linophrynidae). Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal 14(50): 87-159.

McEachran, J.D. 1995. Urolophidae. Rayas redondas. In: W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds), Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental, pp. 786-792. FAO, Rome.

Melnikov, I.V. 1997. Pelagic predatory fishes - consumers of Pacific salmons: distribution within Russian EEZ and adjacent waters, abundance and some biological features. Izv. TINRO 122: 213-228.

Mouritsen, R. 2004. Fiskanøvn. Available at: www.frs.fo/frame2.htm.

Nunes, A. 1953. Peixes da Madeira. Edição da Junta Geral do distrito Autón.

Ocean Biogeographic Information System. 2006. Alepisaurus ferox Data Extent Map (from OBIS Australia/ C Square Mapper).

Okiyama, M. 1993. An atlas of the early stage fishes in Japan. Tokai University Press, Tokyo.

Paxton, J.R. 2000. Alepisauridae (lancetfishes). In J.E. Randall and K.K.P. Lim (eds.) A checklist of the fishes of the South China Sea. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology: 592.

Pequeño, G. 1989. Peces de Chile. Lista sistematica revisada y comentada. Revista De Biologia Marina Y Oceanografia 24(2): 1-132.

Reiner, F. 1996. Catálogo dos Peixes do Arquipélago de Cabo Verde. Publicações avulsas do IPIMAR (Instituto de Investigacao das Pescas e do Mar), Lisbon, Portugal.

Sánchez, A.C. 1997. Listado taxonomico de las especies marinas identificadas en los océanos Pacífico y Atlántico (Caribe) de Nicaragua. In: MEDE PESCA (ed.). Ministerio de Economía y Desarrollo, Managua, Nicaragua.

Shen, S.C. 1993. Fishes of Taiwan. Department of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Smale, M.J. 1996. Cephalophods as prey. IV. Fishes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 351: 1067-1081.

Smith, C.L. and Atz, E.H. 1973. Hermaphroditism in the mesopelagic fishes Osmosudis lowei and Alepisaurus ferox. Copeia 1973: 41-44.

Stancioiu, S. 1987. Ihtiologie sistematica. MEI-Universitatea din Galati, Atelierul de multiplicare-legatorie.

Wheeler, A. 1992. A list of the common and scientific names of fishes of the British Isles. Journal of Fish Biology 41(1): 1-37.

Zaneveld, J.S. 1983. Caribbean fish life. Index to the local and scientific names of the marine fishes and fishlike invertebrates of the Caribbean area (Tropical Western Central Atlantic Ocean). Leiden and E.J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Citation: Paxton, J.R. 2010. Alepisaurus ferox. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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