Temperate Snaggletooth, Astronesthes psychrolutes (Gibbs & Weitzman 1965)

Temperate Snaggletooth, Astronesthes psychrolutes - from the Great Australian Bight, SE of Eucla. Source: Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution


A large colourful barbeled dragonfish with rows of purple luminescent patches along the sides. The ventral row of photophores is in a straight line, and not arched between IP and PV series.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Astronesthes psychrolutes in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3406

Temperate Snaggletooth, Astronesthes psychrolutes (Gibbs & Weitzman 1965)

More Info


Widespread in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere of all major oceans, mostly between 30°S to 60°S. In Australian waters, the Temperate Snaggletooth is known from off Coff Harbour, New South Wales, to off Geraldton, Western Australia, at mesopelagic depths of 200–1196 m.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin 14–17; Anal fin 15–19; Caudal fin 18; Pectoral fin 7–8 (rarely 8); Pelvic fin 7; Vertebrae 44–46 + 16–19 = 61–63.

Photophores: IP 10 + PV 20–23 + VAV 22–26 + AC 12–15 = IC 67–71; OV 20–22; VAL 23–27 (OA 45–47); BR 19–22.

Body depth 9–14% SL; head length 13–23% SL; eye diameter 2.7-4.6% SL; chin barbel variable in length to 43% SL, with spheroid or cylindrical tip, small convexity distally; 2 prominent fangs anteriorly on premaxillary, 1 in lower jaw; Po photophore much smaller than eye; dorsal fin of moderate length, origin behind ventral-fin origin; anal fin slightly smaller than dorsal, origin slightly behind rear end of dorsal-fin base.


To 28 mm SL


Black with a midlateral and a dorsolateral series of purple luminescent patches along the side from the gill cover. The swollen tip of the barbel is pale, and the base of the barbel stem is dark in large adults.


Carnivore - feeds on mesopelagic fishes and crustaceans.


Of no interest to fisheries, although may be taken as bycatch in commercial trawls.


IUCN Red List: Not evaluated

EPBC Act: Not listed

Species Citation

Cryptostomias psychrolutes Gibbs & Weitzman 1965 Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturh. Foren. Kjøbenhavn 128: 268, figs 1–2

Type locality: South-western. Pacific, 30°08'S, 176°50'W.


Dianne J. Bray

Temperate Snaggletooth, Astronesthes psychrolutes (Gibbs & Weitzman 1965)


Gibbs, R.H. Jr. & J.F. McKinney. 1988. High-count species of the stomiid fish genus Astronesthes from the southern subtropical convergence region: two new species and redescription of Cryptostomias (= Astronesthes) psychrolutes. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 460: i-iii + 1-25.

Harold, A.S. 1999. Astronesthidae. in Carpenter, K.E. & V.H. Niem (Eds). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes. The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 3. Batoid fishes, chimaeras and bony fishes part 1 (Elopidae to Linophrynidae). FAO, Rome. Pp. iii-vi, 1398-2068.

Kenaley, C.P., Harold, A.S. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Stomiidae. pp. 240-254 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. [242]

Parin, N.V. & Borodulina, O.D. 2003. Phylogeny, systematics, and zoogeography of the mesopelagic genus Astronesthes (Astronesthidae, Stomiiformes). Journal of Ichthyology 43(8): 557-576 [595]

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese 2006. Astronesthinae. pp. 434-439 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp. [437]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37108008


Depth:200-1196 metres



Max Size:28 cm SL

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