Family PARALEPIDIDAE


Common name: Barracudinas

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Summary:

Small to medium-sized deep-sea fishes with a long, slender body, a posterior anal fin, an elongate pointed snout with the lower jaw protruding slightly, and fang-like teeth.

Barracudinas are fast swimmers found in epipelagic, mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters of all oceans. Light organs are present in the genera Lestidiops and Lestrolepis. Maximum size is 1 m in length.

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Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Barracudinas, PARALEPIDIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Aug 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/family/269

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Family Taxonomy

Family with 12 genera and about and 60 species; 13 described species in 9 genera are known from Australia's maritime waters.

Family Distribution

Found worldwide from polar to tropical regions, most common in the tropics.

Although Paralepidids are known from epi- to bathypelagic waters and have been collected from surface waters to depths below 2000m, they are more common in the mesopelagic zone.

Some species are very widespread, and some adults apparently benthopelagic in slope waters.

Family Description

Small to large deep-sea fishes with a long, slender body, a posterior anal fin, an elongate pointed snout, a slightly protruding lower jaw and fang-like teeth.

Fin spines are absent, the dorsal fin is short-based and positioned behind the middle of the body; anal fin long-based with up to 50 rays, originating well behind dorsal fin in most species; dorsal adipose fin above anal fin; ventral adipose fin present in some species.

Cycloid scales when present are easily lost and the lateral line is conspicuous. Species range in length from 15-100 cm.

Family Size

Maximum length 1 metre.

Family Colour

Silvery with a brownish dorsal stripe, or totally black; some species with dark saddle-like blotches. usually iridescent silvery, sometimes with spotted or blotched patterns on body.

Family Feeding

These elongate predatory fishes feed on zooplankton, small fishes and crustaceans. They are preyed upon by whales and other oceanic predators, including seabirds, tunas, sharks and other deepwater fishes.

Family Reproduction

Most paralepidids are synchronous hermaphrodites, oviparous with pelagic eggs and larvae which occur in the upper 200m.

Family Commercial

Although of no commercial importance, barracudinas are a food source for tunas and other deepwater fishes. They are taken as bycatch in commercial trawl fisheries.

Family Conservation

IUCN REd List of Threatened Species: Not Evaluated

Family Remarks

Paralepidids have been seen swimming vertically in the water column with their heads pointing upwards.

Family Biology

The genera Lestidium and Lestrolepis are bioluminescent.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2019

References


Ambrose, D.A. 1996. Paralepididae: Barracudinas. In H.G. Moser (ed.) The early stages of fishes in the California Current region. CalCOFI Atlas 33, p. 352-367. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas

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.

Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., Simons, A.M. & Davis, M.P. 2014. The first report of luminescent liver tissue in fishes: evolution and structure of bioluminescent organs in the deep-sea naked barracudinas (Aulopiformes: Lestidiidae). Journal of Morphology 276(3): 310-318 https://doi.org/10.1002/jmor.20341 

Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs

Harry, R.R. 1953. 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. 1953. 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 of 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 1397-2068

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 Fischerei Wissenschaft 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