Lestrolepis pofi (Harry 1953)

Other Names: Christmas Island Pike Smelt
A translucent creamy white barracudina with a broad silver lateral band on the rear of the body, dark pigment on top of the head, lower margin of eye, branchiostegal membranes and much of jaws, a black margin on the abdominal ridge, a silvery-white gill cover, blackish pelvic- and anal-fin bases, the anterior part of the dorsal fin, rear of anal fin and the entire caudal fin blackish, a silvery iris, and a lavender ventral luminous duct.
The species has two small black light organs along orbital margin, one at the mid-anterior edge and one on the lower rim. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Lestrolepis pofi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5511

Lestrolepis pofi (Harry 1953)

More Info


Coral Sea off Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west-central Pacific: Madagascar, Australia, New Caledonia, Kiritimati, Japan, Hawaii.


Dorsal fin 9; Anal fin 32-35;  Pectoral fin 12‒13; Pelvic fin 9; Gill rakers upper limb 10, lower limb 28–35 (15‒17 on ceratobranchial + 13‒18 on hypobranchial).Vertebrae: 87‒91 total, Prepelvic vertebrae 32-35, prehaemal vertebrae 32‒36, predorsal vertebrae 40‒43; preanal vertebrae 51‒55, caudal vertebrae 52-56; Lateral line scales: total 69‒77 (63‒69 large scales + 4‒8 small scales at posterior portion), prepelvic scales 33‒34, predorsal scales 40‒41, preanal scales 53‒56; total 69‒77.
Two light organs along orbital margin, one at mid-anterior edge and one at lower margin; dorsal-fin origin well before mid-space of V‒A; broad black margin on abdominal ridge.  
Upper jaw with three slightly enlarged, depressible fangs at front, followed by a single row of small, curved teeth. Vomerine teeth absent. Palatine with nine enlarged tooth pairs forming two rows, followed by single row of few small pointed teeth. Lower jaw with two or three slightly enlarged fangs at front, followed by two rows of widely spaced small fangs arranged in about eight or nine pairs, outer row fixed and much smaller than depressible inner row. Teeth on tongue small, arranged in one irregular row of 8‒10 teeth on each side, teeth absent from anterior portion.

Body naked except for lateral line scales. Lateral line incomplete, ending slightly behind middle of caudal-fin base. 
Luminous organs present. Two on margin of orbit; one small, dark, rounded, distinct at mid-anterior rim, and one on lower margin usually a slender white luminous tissue at inner side of first infraorbital. Luminous duct present on ventral margin of inner surface of abdomen, originating at pectoral-fin base, dividing into two branches along belly at pectoral and pelvic fins.


Creamy white, translucent; broad silver band laterally on posterior fifth of flank; light organ at margin of eye black; dense chromatophores on top of head, jaws (partly), lower margin of eye, and branchiostegal membranes; abdominal ridge with narrow black margin; gill cover silvery white; pelvic-fin base and pterygiophores of anal fin blackish; anterior portion of dorsal fin, posterior portion of anal fin and entire caudal fin blackish; iris silvery; ventral luminous duct lavender.

Species Citation

Lestidium pofi Harry 1953, Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 105:1 89, Figs. 6, 12. Type locality: Kiritimati [formerly Christmas Island], Line Islands, surface.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Catalog of Fishes

Lestrolepis pofi (Harry 1953)


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.

Hata, H., Tashiro, S. & Motomura, H. 2018. First record of Lestrolepis luetkeni (Aulopiformes: Paralepididae) from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Bulletin of Biogeographic Society of Japan 72: 277–281 [in Japanese] (as Lestrolepis luetkeni)

Ho, H.-C. & Golani, D. 2019. A new species of Lestrolepis from the Red Sea, with redescription of Lestrolepis pofi (Harry, 1953) (Aulopiformes: Parelepididae). Zootaxa 4619(3): 571-579. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4619.3.10

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37126013

Depth:0-670 m

Habitat:Epipelagic, mesopelagic

Max Size:19 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map