Undistinguished Sabretooth, Odontostomops normalops (Parr 1928)

Other Names: Sabertooth

Illustration of the holotype of the Undistinguished Sabretooth, Odontostomops normalops, YPM 2143. Source: Fig. 36, in Johnson (1982) Fieldiana Zoology (New Series) 12: 1-252 / Biodiversity Heritage Library. License: CC by Attribution

A uniformly dark brown sabretooth with an iridescent sheen, non-telescopic eyes positioned laterally, and large barbed fangs in the lower jaw and on the palatines. The aperture in the adipose eyelid is smaller than the diameter of the lens.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Odontostomops normalops in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5623

Undistinguished Sabretooth, Odontostomops normalops (Parr 1928)

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Australian Indian Ocean Territories: Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island. One specimen was collected from Clara Marie Seamount, S of Christmas Island, over a water depth of 3100 m. Elsewhere the species is circumglobal in tropical and warm temperate seas (including the Mediterranean Sea). Adults usually occur below 400 m, while larvae and small juveniles have been taken in the upper 200 m.


Dorsal fin 11-13; Anal fin 28-35; Pectoral fin 11-13; Pelvic fin 9-10; Vertebrae 48-52.
Body moderately elongate, relatively shallow, strongly compressed. Anus distinctly posterior to a point midway between pelvic-fin insertion and anal-fin origin. Eyes small, rounded, non-telescopic, positioned laterally, horizontal eye diameter much smaller than interorbital width; aperture of adipose eyelid small, much less than lens in diameter. Median pores on frontal canal 3+3, not touching. 
Dentary teeth barbed, biserial, teeth in outer row small, those of inner row large, barbed fang; palatine teeth uniserial, decreasing in length posteriorly, anterior-most palatine tooth (on each side) an enormous, barbed fang.
Lateral line composed of up to 43 segments, extending to above middle of anal-fin base.


Feeds mostly myctophids and other fishes.


A simultaneous hermaphrodite - individuals have an ovotestis containing functional male and female reproductive tissue.


The specific name normalops is from the Latin normalis (= according to rule, normal) and ops (= eye) in reference to the “perfectly normal, lateral eyes” of this species compared with the elliptical and semi-telescopic eyes of other species in the genus Evermannella (the genus in which Parr placed the species).

Species Citation

Evermannella normalops Parr 1928, Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection Yale University 3(3):164, Figs. 39A, 40A. Type locality: Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas, western North Atlantic, 24°29'N, 77°29'W, 8000 feet wire out.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Undistinguished Sabretooth, Odontostomops normalops (Parr 1928)


Arronte, J.C., Banon, R., Sanchez, F. & Serrano, A. 2012. On the occurrence of Odontostomops normalops (Aulopiformes: Evermannellidae) in the Bay of Biscay (north-eastern Atlantic. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 28(4): 649-651 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0426.2012.01951.x

Fowler, H.W. 1934. Descriptions of new fishes obtained 1907 to 1910, chiefly in the Philippine Islands and adjacent seas. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 85 (for 1933): 233-367.

Johnson, R.K. 1982. Fishes of the families Evermannellidae and Scopelarchidae: systematics, morphology, interrelationships, and zoogeography. Fieldiana Zoology (New Series) 12: i-xiii + 1-252. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.5137

Nunoo, F., Bannerman, P., Poss, S. & Russell, B. 2015. Odontostomops normalops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13462731A15603170. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T13462731A15603170.en. Downloaded on 12 July 2021.

Parr, A.E. 1928. Deep sea fishes of the order Iniomi from the waters around the Bahama and Bermuda Islands, with annotated keys to the Sudidae, Myctophidae, Scopelarchidae, Evermannellidae, Omosudidae, Cetomimidae and Rondeletiidae of the world. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection 3(3): 1-193 figs 1-43

Rofen, R.R. 1966. Family Evermannellidae. pp. 511-565 figs 185-204 in Olsen, Y.H. (ed.) Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir. Sears Foundation of Marine Research 1(5) 

Sutton, T.T., Hulley, P.A., Wienerroither, R., Zaera-Perez, D. & Paxton, J.R. 2020. Identification guide to the mesopelagic fishes of the Central and South East Atlantic Ocean. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome: i-xvi + 1-327 https://doi.org/10.4060/cb0365en

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37130004

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:400-1000 m

Habitat:Oceanic, mesopelagic

Max Size:15 cm SL

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