Genus Malacosteus


Summary:

Species of the deep-sea stomiid fish genus Malacosteus have enormous jaws, a single round nostril on each side of the snout, a large tear-shaped accessory reddish light organ below the front margin of each eye, and reduced serial photophores. They lack a membrane between the bones of the lower jaw and have no palatine teeth. The genus contains two species, both found in Australian waters.

The tear-shaped light organ in front of the eye emits a red light, and Malacosteus is one of three stomiid genera with photophores that produce red light. Species have evolved extremely specialized visual pigments capable of seeing this red light.of deep-sea fishes that can see red light. This gives Malacosteus a distinct advantage over prey which cannot see the long wavelength light emitted by the light organ - kind of like dishes having "night-vision" goggles.

Author: Bray, D.J. 2017

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Malacosteus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 May 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/genus/861

References


Ayres, W.O. 1849. Description of a new genus of fishes, Malacosteus. Boston Journal of Natural History 6: 53–64.

Douglas, R.H., Partridge, J.C., Dulai, K.S., Hunt, D.M., Mullineaux, C.W. & Hynninen, P.H. 1999. Enhanced retinal longwave sensitivity using a chlorophyll-derived photosensitiser in Malacosteus niger, a deep-sea dragonfish with far red bioluminescence. Vision Research 39: 2817–2832.

Harold, A.S. 1999. Malacosteidae, p. 1916–1917. In: Carpenter, K.E. & V.E. Niem (eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome.

Herring, P.J. & Cope, C. 2005. Red bioluminescence in fishes: on the suborbital photophores of Malacosteus, Pachystomias and Aristostomias. Marine Biology 148: 383–394.

Kenaley, C.P. 2007. Revision of the stoplight loosejaw genus Malacosteus (Teleostei: Stomiidae:, Malacosteinae), with description of a new species from the temperate Southern Hemisphere and Indian Ocean. Copeia 2007(4): 886-900.

Kenaley, C.P., DeVaney, S.C. & Fjeran, T.T. 2014. The complex evolutionary history of seeing red: molecular phylogeny and the evolution of an adaptive visual system in deep-sea dragonfishes (Stomiiformes: Stomiidae). Evolution 68(4): 996–1013. doi: 10.1111/evo.12322 Open access

Kenaley, C.P., Harold, A.S. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Stomiidae. pp. 240-254 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Morrow, J.E. Jr. 1964. Family Malacosteidae, p. 523–549. In: Bigelow, H.B., C.M. Breder, D.M. Cohen, G.W. Mead, D. Merriman, Y.H. Olsen, W., Schroeder, L.P. Schultz & J. Tee-Van (eds). Fishes of the Western North Atlantic 1(4). Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.