Dana Lanternfish, Diaphus danae Tåning 1932


Other Names: Blue Lantern-fish

A Dana Lanternfish, Diaphus danae. Source: T. Carter / CSIRO. License: All rights reserved

Summary:
The Dana Lanternfish is usually sparsely distributed in the deep midwaters of the ocean. During spring, the species aggregates in huge numbers in the Coral Sea to spawn at night in the upper-most 300 m. This mass lanternfish aggregation is the food source for a mass spawning and feeding aggregation of commercially important big-eye and yellowfin tuna. These aggregations in turn attract Whale Sharks and billfishes.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Diaphus danae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1433

Dana Lanternfish, Diaphus danae Tåning 1932

More Info


Distribution

A mesopelagic species found in temperate waters over the continental slope in the southwest Pacific. In Australia, the Dana Lanternfish occurs from off northern New South Wales to the Great Australian Bight off Eucla, Western Australia, including around Tasmania; also recorded off Lord Howe Island. The species is also found in the Tasman Sea across to New Zealand.

The Dana Lanternfish is usually sparsely distributed in deep layers of the ocean in the Tasman Sea and off southern Australia. However, the species forms huge spawning aggregations in the western Coral Sea. Spawning occurs at night in the upper-most 350 m of the water column. This lanternfish aggregation provides food for a mass spawning and feeding aggregation of commercially important big-eye and yellowfin tuna. It also attracts whale sharks and other species such as billfishes.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin 14–16 (usually 15): Anal fin 14–16 (usually 15); C ???; Pectoral fin 11–13 (usually 12); Pelvic fin 8  GR 8–10 (usually 8) + 17–20 (usually 19–20) = 28-30 gill rakers; AO photophores 6–7 (usually 6)  + 5–6 (usually 5). 
Vn photophore long, extending posteriorly under eye to level of mid-orbit; So photophore absent: jaws extending ¾ eye diameter or more behind eye; no strongly hooked teeth poteriorly in upper jaw.

Biology

Echosounder data has shown that the spawning aggregation occurs at depths between 200-350m. The lanternfish begin aggregating from 1930 hours and disperse at 0400 hours.

Fisheries

Lanternfish are an important food source for larger species such as tunas and billfishes. The annual Diaphus danae spawning aggregation in the Coral Sea attracts Big-eye and Yellowfin Tuna. These Coral Sea tuna aggregations have been targeted by commercial fishers for more than 40 years (McPherson 1988) and have been fished by an exclusively domestic fleet since 1987 (Campbell et al. 1997).

Species Citation

Diaphus danae Tåning, 1932, Vidensk. Meddr. Dansk Naturh. Foren. 94: 140 fig. 13. Type locality: north of New Zealand, 36º23'30"S, 176º26'E. 

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Dana Lanternfish, Diaphus danae Tåning 1932

References


Blaber, S.J.M. & C.M. Bulman. 1987. Diets of fishes of the upper continental slope of eastern Tasmania: content, calorific values, dietary overlap and trophic relationships. Marine Biology 95: 345-356.

Campbell, R., Whitelaw,W., and McPherson, G. 1997. ‘Domestic Australian Longline Fishing Methods and the Catch of Tuna and Non-target Species off North-eastern Queensland. 7th Meeting of the Western Pacific Yellowfin Tuna Research Group.’ Nadi, Fiji.

Flynn, A.J. & Paxton, J.R. 2012. Spawning aggregation of the lanternfish Diaphus danae (family Myctophidae) in the north-western Coral Sea and associations with tuna aggregations. Marine and Freshwater Research 63(12): 1255-1271.

May, J.L. & Blaber, S.J.M. 1989. Benthic and pelagic fish biomass of the upper continental slope off eastern Tasmania. Marine Biology 101: 11–25. doi:10.1007/BF00393474

McPherson, G. 1988. A possible mechanism for the aggregation of yellowfin and bigeye tuna in the north-western Coral Sea. Technical Report No. FRB88/8, pp. 1–14. (Queensland Fisheries Research Centre: Cairns).

Paxton, J.R., Gates, J.E. & Hoese, D.F. 2006. Myctophidae. pp. 508-531. in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.

Paxton, J.R. & Bray, D.J. 2008. Family Myctophidae. pp. 270-294. in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Tåning, Å.V. 1932. Notes on scopelids from the Dana Expeditions. 1. Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening i Kjøbenhavn 94: 125-146 figs 1-16

Williams, A. & Koslow, J. 1997. Species composition, biomass and vertical distribution of micronekton over the mid-slope region off southern Tasmania, Australia. Marine Biology 130: 259–276. doi:10.1007/S002270050246

Williams, A., J. Koslow, A. Terauds & K. Haskard. 2001. Feeding ecology of five fishes from the mid-slope micronekton community off southern Tasmania, Australia. Marine Biology 139(6): 1177-1192.

Young, J.W., Blaber, S.J.M. & Rose, R. 1987. Reproductive biology of three species of midwater fishes associated with the continental slope of eastern Tasmania, Australia. Marine Biology 95: 323–332. doi:10.1007/BF00409562

Young, J.W., T.D. Lamb & R.W. Bradford. 1996. Distribution and community structure of midwater fishes in relation to the subtropical convergence off eastern Tasmania, Australia. Marine Biology 126(4): 571-584.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37122001

Biology:Bioluminescent

Depth:115-1600 m

Habitat:Mesopelagic, bathypelagic

Max Size:13 cm SL

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