Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Aphanopus carbo, Black Scabbardfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no nape crest
D XXXVIII-XL (elements 90-96)
D spiny part slightly < soft part, notch between them
C small, forked
pelvics: absent in adults, I tiny spine in juveniles

Aphanopus carbo Lowe, 1839

Black Scabbardfish

Body elongate , compressed; head top profile smooth, gently rising from snout to dorsal fin, without crest on top; top of head between eyes and on nape flat; lower jaw projecting; jaws with front fangs, and triangular teeth on sides; roof of mouth with no teeth in center, a few teeth in a single row on sides; gill rakers spiny; dorsal fin XXXVIII-XL (rarely XLI), 52-56, 90-96 elements, with a deep notch between spines and rays; anal fin with II close-set spines well before rest of fin, the 1st small, imbedded in adult, the 2nd strong, dagger-like (under dorsal soft rays 2-5), 44-48 (rarely 43) soft rays; pectorals 12, top rays shorter; pelvics absent in adults, juveniles with 1 spine inserted before pectoral base; tail fin present, small, forked; lateral line slowly descends from top of gill opening to mid-side.

Body coppery black; inside mouth and gill chamber black.

Reaches 151 cm.

Adults benthopelagic, juveniles mesopelagic

Depth range 200-2300 m.

Temperate to tropical Atlantic and Pacific; New Foundland to the Gulf of Mexico.

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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
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Atlantic + Pacific Oceans
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 151
Depth Range Min
  • 200
Depth Range Max
  • 2300