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Species: Lepidopus altifrons, Crested Scabbardfish

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prominent nape crest originates before eyes
eye large, below head profile
D no notch, VII-X weak spines, 90-96 elements
C small, forked
pelvic tiny, I, 1-2

Lepidopus altifrons Parin & Collette, 1993

Crested Scabbardfish

Body elongate and compressed; head length 15.4-16.5 % SL; upper head profile almost straight from tip of snout to dorsal-fin origin; forehead with a pair of crests converging before middle of eyes; longitudinal crest along top of head prominent, from before eyes along nape; lower jaw projecting; lower rear edge of gill cover convex; eyes fairly large, not situated very near head profile; interorbital space strongly convex; tips of both jaws usually with a short skin knob; jaws with front fangs (3 – 6 pairs above, 1 pair below) and smaller side teeth (15-20 above, 15-21 below); a few teeth on each side of roof of mouth; gill rakers 17-18; dorsal fin with VII- X weak spines similar to soft rays, total elements 90-96, no notch between spines & rays; anal fin II (1st rudimentary, 2nd moderate to strong), 52-58; pectorals 12, ~triangular, anterior rays shorter than posterior rays; pelvic fins with I small scale-like spine, 1-2 tiny soft rays, inserted ½ eye diameter behind end of pectoral-fin; small forked tail fin present; lateral line slowly descends from above gill opening to mid-side.

Silvery to brown, darker along lateral line; inside gill chamber black.

Reaches 68 cm


Depth range 100-508 m.

Nova Scotia to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 68
Depth Range Min
  • 100
Depth Range Max
  • 508