Wood's Siphonfish, Siphamia cephalotes (Castelnau 1875)


Other Names: Little Siphonfish, Woods Siphon Fish, Wood's Siphon-fish

Wood's Siphonfish, Siphamia cephalotes, at Flinders Jetty, Western Port, Victoria. Source: Julian Finn / Museums Victoria. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:

A bronze to silvery-green siphonfish with a silvery tube-like light organ along the lower surface, a dark spot on the caudal-fin base, and a coppery midlateral stripe.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Siphamia cephalotes in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Jul 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/4232

Wood's Siphonfish, Siphamia cephalotes (Castelnau 1875)

More Info


Distribution

Widespread in southern Australia from Byron Bay, New South Wales, to Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, and south to Cape Barren Island, Tasmania.

Wood's Siphonfish inhabits shallow reefs in bays, estuaries and coastal waters. It is most active a night and is rarely seen by divers as it usually shelters under ledges, and among seagrass and kelp beds during the day.

Features

Dorsal fin VI + I, 7-9; Anal fin II, 8-9; Caudal fin 17; Pectoral fin 12-14,; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral line scales (tubed) 22-23; Median pre-dorsal scales 4-5; Gill rakers (1st arch) 4-6 + 14-16, developed rakers 1-3 + 13-16 = 15-18; Gill rakers on ceratobranchial 9-10.

Body relatively slender, depth 3.2–4.8 in SL; body width 1.6–1.8 in depth; eye diameter 3.2–3.7 in head length; caudal-peduncle slender; preopercular edge and ridge smooth, the ventral edge slightly crenulate; palatines with 1-3 series of small teeth; first infraorbital pore a complex of about 7 small pores; tip of light organ on each side of tongue bound by a membrane.

Scales large, mostly ctenoid (some cycloid); tubed lateral-line scales with a vertical series of papillae. 

Pectoral fin rays unbranched and compressed distally. First dorsal spine 1.1-1.3 in second spine; second dorsal spine 2.6-3.6, spine of second dorsal fin 5.1-6.7, and second anal spine 6.0-7.4, all in head length (HL); pectoral-fin length 5.8-6.7 and pelvic-fin length 5.7-6.1 in SL; caudal-peduncle length 1.05-1.4 in distance between pelvic spine insertion and anal-fin origin.

Colour

Individuals in seagrass habitats are usually greenish, while those inhabiting kelp beds are usually brown.

Body overall pale silvery, head and abdomen with a greenish or yellowish hue, peppered with small dark brown dots; upper part of body from above eye, along dorsal-fin bases and upper part of caudal peduncle densely peppered with dark dots.

Fins pale with faint small spots; anal-fin base with a line of dark brown dots or short dashes; caudal-fin base with a dark spot.

Light organ a silvery stripe with dark dots along lower edge of body from pelvic-fin base tapering to along most of caudal peduncle.

Biology

Bacterial bioluminescent system present. Males incubate the developing eggs in their mouths.

Remarks

Unlike most bioluminescent cardinal fishes, Wood's Siphonfish harbours bioluminescent bacteria in two areas. One in the familiar disc-like, bacteria-harboring gland and paired elongate ventral bioluminescent reflectors, typical for this genus, that merge and end below the gill region. The second and more anterior site features two sacs that originate in the throat and protrude into the mouth, via the free space left by the laterally notched tongue. The bacteria live within the tips of these luminous sacs and the light diffuses within the mouth of the fish. The surface of the tongue is unique among cardinal fishes, being criss-crossed anteriorly by protruding dermal ridges, rich in taste buds and mucus-producing cells. It would appear that at night when feeding, the luminous mouth cavity of these fish acts as a lure to attract the small prey, while the ridged structure of the tongues surface facilitates their collection and aggregation before they are swallowed (Fishelson et al. 2005).

Similar Species

Wood's siphonfish differs from all other species in the genus Siphamia in having 15-18 developed gill rakers on the first arch. The Pinkbreast Siphonfish, Siphamia roseigaster has 13–15 developed gill rakers, a higher number of second dorsal- and anal-fin rays (9–11), and a higher number of pectoral-fin rays (14) that are mostly branched. It also lacks palatine teeth and the light organ in its mouth has a free ending.

Etymology

The specific name cephalotes is from the Greek kephalotos (= headed), presumably in reference to the large head of this species which is “not contained three times” in the total length.

Species Citation

Scopelus cephalotes Castelnau 1875, Researches on the fishes of Australia 2: 4. Type locality: Adelaide, South Australia.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Wood's Siphonfish, Siphamia cephalotes (Castelnau 1875)

References


  • Allen, G.R. 1999. Apogonidae. pp. 2602-2610 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.
  • Allen, G.R. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Apogonidae. pp. 557-561 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.
  • Castelnau, F.L. de 1875. Researches on the fishes of Australia. Intercolonial Exhibition Essays. 2. pp. 1–52 in, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 : Official Record. Melbourne. See ref online
  • Fraser, T.H. & Prokofiev, A.M. 2016. A new genus and species of cardinalfish (Percomorpha, Apogonidae, Sphaeramiini) from the coastal waters of Vietnam: luminescent or not? Zootaxa 4144(2): 227–242. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4144.2.5
  • Fishelson, L., Gon, O., Goren, M. & Ben-David-Zaslow, R. 2005. The oral cavity and bioluminescent organs of the cardinal fish species Siphamia permutata and S. cephalotes (Perciformes, Apogonidae). Marine Biology 147: 603-609 DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-005-1613-x Abstract
  • Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Apogonidae. pp. 562-571 figs 499-506 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.
  • Gon, O. & Allen, G.R. 2012. Revision of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus Siphamia (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 3294: 1-84, https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3294.1.1
  • Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island, pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.
  • Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 See ref online
  • Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.
  • Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs.
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.
  • Kuiter, R.H. & Kozawa, T. 2019. Cardinalfishes of the world. New Edition. Seaford, Victoria: Aquatic Photographics, and Okazaki, Aichi: Anthias (Nexus), 198 pp.
  • Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.
  • Mabuchi, K., Fraser, T.H., Song, H., Azuma, Y. & Nishida, M. 2014. Revision of the systematics of the cardinalfishes (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) based on molecular analyses and comparative reevaluation of morphological characters. Zootaxa 3846(2): 151–203, https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3846.2.1
  • McCulloch, A.R. 1921. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 13(4): 123-142 pls 21-24, DOI 10.3853/j.0067-1975.13.1921.863 (as Adenapogon woodi
  • Munro, I.S.R. 1961. Handbook of Australian fishes. Nos 1–42. Australian Fisheries Newsletter 15–17, 19, 20: 1-172
  • Neira, F.J., Miskiewicz, A.G. & Trnski, T. 1998. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. Nedlands, Western Australia : University of Western Australia press 474 pp.
  • Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.
  • Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15, DOI 10.3853/j.0067-1975.19.1933.691 [as Adenapogon (Scopelapogon) cephalotes]
  • Quick Facts


    CAAB Code:37327032

    Biology:Bioluminescent, mouth brooder (males)

    Depth:1-30 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:5 cm SL

    Native:Endemic

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