Photostomias liemi Kenaley 2009

Holotype (MCZ 49151) of Photostomias liemi from the Central North Pacific, off Kona, Hawaii.. Source: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Photostomias liemi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Photostomias liemi Kenaley 2009

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Coral Sea ENE of Townsville, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific: Southern Java, Indonesia, to the Hawaiian Archipelago, north to Japan, south to the Coral Sea. Usually inhabits mesopelagic and bathypelagic depths, although larvae and juveniles may occur in the upper 200 m.


Dorsal fin 22-26; Anal fin 26-29; Dorsal + anal fin rays 49-55; Pelvic fin 6; 
Post-orbital photophore of moderate size, 21.0–25.3% upper jaw length, in males greater than 60 mm; AO of moderate size, 4.9–8.3% UJL, in males greater than 60 mm; three tooth patches positioned at posterior end of the first, second, and third basibranchials.
Skin thin, scaleless; vertical rows of minute photophores arranged laterally on body beginning directly behind the opercular flap, each row corresponding to a body segment. Minute masses of luminescent tissue scattered over entire body.
Dorsal and anal fins far back on body, nearly opposite, predorsal length 78.5–85.6% SL, preanal length 78.1–84.3% SL. Pectoral fin absent in transformed specimens. Pelvic fins extremely elongate, 40.3–54.1% SL. Caudal fin small and forked, lobes falcate, ventral lobe longer than dorsal lobe.


Females mature at about 100 mm SL


This species is named in honour of Karel F. Liem, recognizing over three decades of curation and support of scientists, students, and staff as Curator of Ichthyology and Henry Bryant Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

Species Citation

Photostomias liemi Kenaley 2009, Copeia 2009(1): 179. Type locality: Central North Pacific, off Kona, Hawaii, depth 0-762 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Photostomias liemi Kenaley 2009


Kenaley, C.P. 2009. Revision of Indo-Pacific species of the loosejaw dragonfish genus Photostomias (Teleostei: Stomiidae: Malacosteinae). Copeia 2009(1): 175-189

Williams, A. 2020. Photostomias liemi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T141375031A141781673. Accessed on 25 October 2022.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37112005


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-4000 m

Max Size:14.3 cm SL

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