Australian Biological Resources Study

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CAAB: 37129000



Compiler and date details

13 July 2016 - John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Dianne J. Bray & Douglass F. Hoese


Worldwide, the Paralepididae comprise about 59 species in 13 genera (Post 1972, 1990; Nelson 2006). In Australian waters, 14 described species in nine genera have been recorded and an additional genus and species from Heard Island. In addition, an unidentified species of Lestidiops has been collected from the Northwest Shelf, Western Australia. Magnisudis atlantica (Krøyer, 1868) has been shown to be separate from M. prionosa and Australian records of this genus have been based on M. prionosa. However, M. atlantica does occur on the Tasman Rise just outside of the area covered by this work and is likely to occur in Australian waters. Anotopterus is placed here following Baldwin & Johnson (1996). Relationships of Anotopterus were also discussed by Johnson (1982).

Barracudinas are found in the epipelagic and mesopelagic waters of all oceans; some adults are apparently benthopelagic in slope waters. Fishes and crustaceans are recorded food items. They are characterised by having a slender, elongate body, a posterior anal fin, an elongate snout and fang-like teeth. Maximum size is 1 m in length.

The Paralepididae are in need of revision. Harry (1953a, 1953b) reviewed the North Pacific species and Rofen (1966) reviewed the genera and revised the western North Atlantic species. Post (1972, 1990) provided a catalogue of the types and species synonymies. Post (1986) also treated several species found in Australian waters, and he (1987) revised the subfamily Paralepidinae. Rofen (1966) regarded Anotopterus as monotypic, but the genus was recently revised by Kukuev (1998), who recognised three species. Paxton & Niem (1999) provided details of the family, but separated Anotopterus into its own family. More recently Davis (2010) separated the family into two distinct families the Paralepedidae and Alepisauridae.

A. Post of Institut für Seefischerei, Hamburg, kindly reviewed this family account.


General References

Baldwin, C.C. & Johnson, G.D. 1996. Interrelationships of Aulopiformes. pp. 355-404 in Stiassny, M.L.J., Parenti, L.R. & Johnson, G.D. (eds). Interrelationships of Fishes. San Diego : Academic Press 496 pp.

Davis, M.P. 2010. Evolutionary relationships of the Aulopiformes (Euteleostei: Cyclosquamata): a molecular and total evidence approach. pp. 431-470 in Nelson, J.S., Schultze, H.-P. & Wilson, M.V.H. Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. München, Germany : Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil 480 pp.

Harry, R.R. 1953a. Studies on the bathypelagic fishes of the family Paralepididae. 1. Survey of the genera. Pacific Science 7(2): 219-249 figs 1-22

Harry, R.R. 1953b. Studies on the bathypelagic fishes of the family Paralepididae (order Iniomi). 2. A revision of the North Pacific species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 105: 169-230 figs 1-28

Johnson, R.K. 1982. Fishes of the families Evermannellidae and Scopelarchidae: systematics, morphology, interrelationships and zoogeography. Fieldiana Zoology ns 12: 1-252 figs 1-74

Kukuev, E.I. 1998. Systematics and distribution in the world ocean of daggertooth fishes of the genus Anotopterus (Anotopteridae, Aulopiformes). Journal of Ichthyology 38(9): 716-729 [original article in Russian in Voprosky ikhtiologii 38(6): 745–759]

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.

Paxton, J.R. & Niem, V.H. 1999. Families Paralepididae, Anotopteridae, Evermannellidae, Omosudidae, Alepisauridae, Giganturidae. pp. 1948-1954 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068.

Post, A. 1972. Catalogue of type-specimens and designation of lectotypes of the fish-family Paralepididae (Osteichthyes, Myctophoidei). Archiv für Fischereiwissenschaft 23(2): 136-165

Post, A. 1986. Family Paralepididae. pp. 274-278 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls.

Post, A. 1987. Results of the research cruises of FRV "Walther Herwig" to South America. LXVII. Revision of the subfamily Paralepidinae (Pisces, Aulopiformes, Alepisauroidei, Paralepididae). I. Taxonomy, morphology and geographical distribution. Archiv für Fischereiwissenschaft 38(1/2): 75-131

Post, A. 1990. Families Paralepididae, Sudidae, Omosudidae, Alepisauridae, Anotopteridae. pp. 373-389 in Quéro, J.-C., Hureau, J.-C., Karrer, C., Post, A. & Saldanha, L. (eds). Check-list of the Fishes of the Eastern Tropical Atlantic. Paris : UNESCO 1492 pp., 3 vols.

Rofen, R.R. 1966. Family Paralepididae. In, Olsen, Y.H. (ed.) Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(5): 205-461 figs 55-162


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
22-Dec-2016 AULOPIFORMES 14-Jun-2016 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)