Common name: Lizardfishes and allies

The Aulopiformes are a diverse group of marine predatory fishes found in all oceans. They live in a range of environments from shallow coastal areas to the bottom of the deep-sea. While most live on the bottom, others are pelagic, inhabiting near-surface waters to bathypelagic depths. The order comprises 15-16 families, and more than 240 species. Fourteen families are known from Australian waters.

Some aulopiforms have bizarre adaptations for life in the deep-sea, including a reproductive strategy of simultaneous hermaphroditism, where individuals have functional male and female reproductive tissue at the same time. Some have highly specialised eyes including the tubular and telescopic eyes of the meso-and bathypelagic Giganturidae, Evermannellidae and Scopelarchidae, and the greatly reduced and modified eyes of the family Ipnopidae.

The aulopiform fossil record is extensive and dates back to the Cretaceous Period.

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Lizardfishes ..., AULOPIFORMES in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/order/6