Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Benthodesmus simonyi, North Atlantic Frostfish, North Atlantic Frostfish Scabbardfish, Simony's Frostfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no nape crest
D XLIV-XLVI, 104-109, notched, spiny part ~1/2 soft part
C small, forked
pelvics tiny I,1, BEHIND pectcoral base
A II, 93-102

Benthodesmus simonyi (Steindachner, 1891)

North Atlantic Frostfish, Simony's Frostfish, North Atlantic Frostfish Scabbardfish

Body extremely elongate and compressed, depth 3.7-4.7% SL; upper head profile rises smoothly from tip of snout to origin of dorsal fin; nape without a central, longitudinal crest; lower rear edge of gill cover convex; lower jaw projecting; tips of both jaws with a short skin knob in large fish; jaws with front fangs and slightly compressed side teeth; roof of mouth with 1 row of teeth on each side, none in center; gill rakers on first arch spiny; dorsal fin with long base, XLIV – XLVI, 104-109 (total elements 148-155), partially divided by a shallow notch, base of spinous part about ½ length of base of soft part; anal fin II (close-set, 1st rudimentary, not visible in adults, 2nd comb-like, delicate, well forwards of rest of fin), 93 – 102, rays developed only on rear 1/3 of fin; pectorals 12; pelvic fins minute, with a scale-like spine & a rudimentary soft ray, inserted behind pectoral base; tail fin small, forked.

Silvery; jaws, operculum, and inside mouth and gill chamber black.

Reaches 133 cm


Depth range 200-900 m.

Atlantic; Newfoundland to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • 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
  • 133
Depth Range Min
  • 200
Depth Range Max
  • 900