Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Stomiiformes
(Lightfishes and dragonfishes) > Sternoptychidae
(Marine hatchetfishes) > Sternoptychinae
Etymology: Argyropelecus: Greek, argyros = silvered, silver + Greek, pelekys = axe (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; bathypelagic; depth range 0 - 2400 m (Ref. 74511), usually 250 - 600 m (Ref. 4054). Deep-water; 60°N - 56°S
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 3 - ? cm
Max length : 3.9 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4462); 3.9 cm SL (female); max. reported age: 1 years (Ref. 5168)
Eastern Atlantic: north of British Isles to South Africa, including western Mediterranean. Western Atlantic: New Jersey, USA to Argentina (Ref. 26340). Northwest Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951). Eastern Pacific: throughout the California Current area, seaward of the continental shelf (Ref. 35838). Known from tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans (Ref. 47377). South China Sea (Ref.74511).
Oceanic (Ref. 4739) and mesopelagic, mainly at 250-650 m (Ref. 4054). Depth range from 100-700 m (Ref. 4462) and from 460-1082 m in the eastern Ionian Sea (Ref. 56504). Adults make marked vertical migrations (Ref. 4739). Found singly or in small groups (Ref. 4739). An opportunistic feeder at dusk on calanoid copepods, small fishes, etc (Ref. 4739). Sexual dimorphism with regard to body size (Ref. 5168), the males being slightly smaller than the females (Ref. 8966). Oviparous, with planktonic eggs and larvae (Ref. 35838).
Occurs between 200 and 700 m depth during the day, concentrated between 350 and 550 m, and between 100 and 650 m at night, preferring a depth between 150 and 380 m Ref. 47377). Also Ref. 58302.
Spawns more than once per season with egg batches about 50-500 egg/ovary pair, the number increasing with increased animal size (Ref. 4739).
Gon, O., 1990. Sternoptychidae. p. 123-126. In O. Gon and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa. (Ref. 5168)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01820 (0.00668 - 0.04956), b=3.00 (2.76 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm=1; tmax=1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .