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Carapus acus  (Brünnich, 1768)

Pearl fish
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Carapus acus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Carapus acus (Pearl fish)
Carapus acus
Picture by Wirtz, P.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Ophidiiformes (Cusk eels) > Carapidae (Pearlfishes) > Carapinae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; demersal; non-migratory; depth range 1 - 150 m (Ref. 34024).   Subtropical; 42°N - 15°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: including the Mediterranean. Probably south to Ascension Island.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 20.8 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6347)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal soft rays (total): 37-39. Eel-like, moderate to shallow body depth; cardiform teeth present but restricted to upper jaw symphysis; swim bladder constricted forming two chambers; lacking enlarged dentary or premaxillary fangs, dentary diastema, pelvic fins and swim bladder rockerbone (Ref. 34024). Possesses a free, movable maxilla (Ref. 6347).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Common species (Ref. 34024). Adults typically live as commensals in the gut of shallow-water holothurians, Holothuria tubulosa and Stichopus regalis (although some deep-water records exist, see Ref. 6347). Prejuveniles (tenuis larvae) probably inhabit the same host species while the vexillifer and egg-rafts are planktonic. The fish may partly protrude or entirely leave its host at night to feed on small fish and benthic invertebrates. Reproduction noted in July-September. (Ref. 4741).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

It is not yet established whether spawning is seasonal or sporadic in carapids. Eggs elliptical and planktonic (Ref. 6355).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Nielsen, J.G., D.M. Cohen, D.F. Markle and C.R. Robins, 1999. Ophidiiform fishes of the world (Order Ophidiiformes). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of pearlfishes, cusk-eels, brotulas and other ophidiiform fishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(18):178p. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 34024)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest
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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishes of Iran | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5312   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00102 (0.00046 - 0.00225), b=3.06 (2.88 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.0   ±0.63 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (11 of 100) .