Alfonsino, Beryx splendens Lowe 1833

Other Names: Alfonsin, Lowe's Beryx, Slender Alfonsino, Slender Beryx, Splendid Alfonsino

An Alfonsino, Beryx splendens, filmed in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Source: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


A moderately slender bright red alfonsino, with a silvery-pink belly, a red iris, and bright red fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Beryx splendens in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020,

Alfonsino, Beryx splendens Lowe 1833

More Info


Coral Sea, Queensland, to off Rowley Shoals, Wwestern Australia, also the Lord Howe Rise and Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species occurs worldwide in waters between 62ºN and 42ºS; absent from the NE Pacific.

Alfonsinos aggregate over the pouter continental shelf and slope, often around seamounts, ridges and rises in association with deep-sea coral habitats. They are benthopelagic during the day, and make forays above the bottom to feed at night on mesopelagic fishes and crustaceans. Larvae and juveniles are pelagic at depths of 50-200m.


Dorsal fin III-IV, 12-15; Anal fin IV, 25-30; Caudal fin 19; Pectoral fin 15-19; Pelvic fin I, 9-13; Lateral line scales (to end of caudal fin) 69-82.

Body moderately deep, depth 36-40% SL (standard length), equal to or slightly more than head length; eye diameter 40-42% HL; mouth reaching to below centre of eye; scales above lateral line 9; anal-fin origin below rear part of dorsal fin base.

First dorsal-fin rays sometimes elongate in small specimens.


To 50 cm SL.


Head and body bright red above, becoming silvery-pink below; iris of eye and fins bright red.


Often forms dense schools to feed on fishes, crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs.


The Alfonsino is an egg-layer (oviparous) and a serial spawner. The eggs are buoyant and hatch after 8 days. The larvae remain in the plankton for several months before settling on shallow seamounts. Alfonsinos reportedly live for more than 20 years.


Commercially important in many parts of its range, and taken with long-lines and in commercial trawls. The species is a popular food fish around the world.

Species Citation

Beryx splendens Lowe, 1833, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1: 142. Type locality: Madeira.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Alfonsino, Beryx splendens Lowe 1833


Adachi, K., K. Takagi, E. Tanaka, S. Yamada & T. Kitakado. 2000. Age and growth of alfonsino Beryx splendens in the waters around the Izu Islands. Fish. Sci. 66: 232-240.

Busakhin, S.V. 1982. Systematic and distribution of the family Berycidae (Osteichthyes) in the world ocean. Journal of Ichthyology 22: 1–21.

Dubochkin, A.S. & A.N. Kotlyar. 1989. On the feeding of alfoncino (Beryx splendens). J. Ichthyol. 29(5): 1-8.

Dürr, J. & J.A Gonzálezb. 2002. Feeding habits of Beryx splendens and Beryx decadactylus (Berycidae) off the Canary Islands. Fisheries Research 54(3): 363-374.

Flores, A., R. Wiff, P. G´alvez & E. Díaz. 2012. Reproductive biology of alfonsino Beryx splendens. Journal of Fish Biology 81: 1375–1390.

Gonzalez, J., Rico, V., Lorenzo, J., Reis, S., Pajuelo, J., Dias, M., Mendonca, A., Krug, H. & Pinho, M. 2003. Sex and reproduction of the Alfonsino Beryx splendens (Pisces, Berycidae) from the Macaronesian archipelagos. Ichthyology 19: 104-108.

Hoarau, G. & Borsa, P. 2000. Extensive gene flow within sibling species in the deep-sea fish Beryx splendens. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences Series III Sciences de la Vie. 323(3): 315-325.

Horn PL, Forman J, Dunn MR. 2010. Feeding habits of alfonsino Beryx splendens. J Fish Biol. 76(10): 2382-400. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02630.x.

Horn, P.L. & Massey, B.R. 1989. Biology and abundance of alfonsino and bluenose off the lower east coast North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Fisheries Technical Report 15, pp: 32.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Ikenouye, H. & Masuzawa, H. 1968. An estimation of growth equation basing on the results of tagging experiments of the Japanese alfonsin fish. Bull. Jap. Soc. Sci. Fish. 34(2): 97-102.

Iwamoto, T., McEachran, J.D., Polanco Fernandez, A., Moore, J. & Russell, B. 2015. Beryx splendens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T16425354A16510182. Downloaded on 15 July 2017.

Kotlyar, A.N. 1987. Age and growth of alfoncino, Beryx splendens. Journal of Ichthyology 27(2): 104-111.

Kuboshima, Y., K. Kikuchi, H. Yamaguchi, T. Yoshinaga & I. Mitani. 1998. Feeding behavior of Alfonsino Beryx splendens. Kanagawa Fish. Res. Inst. Report 3: 43-49.

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Lehodey, P. & Grandperrin, R. 1996. Influence of temperature and ENSO events on the growth of the deep demersal fish alfonsino, Beryx splendens, off New Caledonia in the western tropical South Pacific Ocean. Deep-Sea Research 43: 49–57.

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Lowe, R.T. 1833. Characters of a new genus Leirus, and several new species of fishes from Madeira. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1: 142-144

Massey, B.R. & P.L. Horn. 1990. Growth and age structure of alfonsino (Beryx splendens) from the lower east coast, North Island, New Zealand. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 24(1): 121-136.

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37258002

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:25-1300m (usually below 150m)

Fishing:Fished commercially

Habitat:Continental slope, seamounts

Max Size:50 cm FL; 60 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map