Bathysaurus mollis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Aulopiformes Bathysauridae

Scientific Name: Bathysaurus mollis Günther, 1878
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Highfin Lizardfish
Bathysaurus obtusirostris Vaillant, 1888

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-07-14
Assessor(s): de Bruyne, G., Carpenter, K.E. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F.
Reviewer(s): Soto, S. & Polidoro, B.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Stump, E.
This species is found from Morocco southward through Gabon with records in North Ireland to Mediterranean Sea. It occurs at depths greater than 1,000 m. This species is not utilized and given its general depth range it is not likely to be affected by anthropogenic disturbances. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Bathysaurus mollis is circumglobal between 50°N and 20°S, except in the tropical eastern Pacific. In the eastern Atlantic, it is present in North Ireland to Morocco and south to Gabon. In the Mediterranean Sea, there is only one single record (Whitehead et al. 1986) in the northwest part of the basin. It occurs at depths greater than 1,000 m.
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Benin; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Brazil; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Curaçao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Equatorial Guinea; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); French Guiana; French Polynesia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Ireland; Italy (Sicilia); Jamaica; Japan; Liberia; Martinique; Mauritania; Mexico; Monaco; Montserrat; Morocco; Namibia; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Norfolk Island; Panama; Philippines; Portugal (Azores, Madeira, Portugal (mainland), Selvagens); Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Solomon Islands; South Africa; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland)); Suriname; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – northeast; Indian Ocean – western; Mediterranean and Black Sea; Pacific – western central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – northeast; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):4800
Upper depth limit (metres):1550
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are very few collection records in museums. There is very little information on the population of this species in western Africa and only one record from the Mediterranean Sea.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Bathysaurus mollis is a bathydemersal species with a maximum size of 78 cm. It is found on the continental rise and the abyss, commonly below 2,000 m, in water colder than 4°C. Larvae are pelagic in near-surface midwaters. It is a solitary, lurking bottom feeder, probably piscivorous (Sulak 1984). Contrary to Thresher (1984) this species is a hermaphrodite (Nelson 1994). Species of the family Synodontidae usually eat other small fish and crustaceans (Russell in press).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is currently no information regarding the use and/or trade of Bathysaurus mollis. This species is likely too deep-dwelling to be consumed in western Africa.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are currently no known threats to Bathysaurus mollis and because of the depth distribution of this species, it is less likely to be threatened by anthropogenic disturbances.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Bathysaurus mollis. It may be present in marine protected areas that occur within its distribution.

Classifications [top]

10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.3. Marine Oceanic - Bathypelagic (1000-4000m)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Mundy, B.C. 2005. Checklist of the fishes of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Bishop Museum Bulletins in Zoology.

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the world. John Wiley and Sons, Inc, New York, USA.

Russel, B. in press. Bathysauridae. In: K.E. Carpenter and N. DeAngelis (eds), The Living Marine Resources of the Eastern Central Atlantic, FAO, Rome.

Sulak, K.J. 1984. Synodontidae (including Macristiidae and Bathysauridae). In: P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds), Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, pp. 405-411. UNESCO, Paris.

Sulak, K.J. 1990. Synodontidae. In: J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds), Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). Paris.

Thresher, R.E. 1984. Reproduction in reef fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd., Neptune City, New Jersey.

Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M-L., Hureau, J.C., Nielsen, J. and Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris.

Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielsen, J. and Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris.

Citation: de Bruyne, G., Carpenter, K.E. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 2015. Bathysaurus mollis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T195001A15535158. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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