Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Stomiiformes
(Lightfishes and dragonfishes) > Sternoptychidae
(Marine hatchetfishes) > Sternoptychinae
Etymology: Argyropelecus: Greek, argyros = silvered, silver + Greek, pelekys = axe (Ref. 45335). More on author: Cuvier.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; bathypelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 100 - 800 m (Ref. 4739), usually - m (Ref. ). Deep-water; 0°C - ; 65°N - 50°S
Eastern Atlantic: southern Iceland to Canary Islands and Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. South Pacific: between 30°S and 50°S.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 9.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27000)
Lower opercular spine downward and curved forward. Upper opercular spine short, directed outward. Ventral line of abdominal keel usually with a concave notch in front of anterior postabdominal spine (Ref. 37473).
Oceanic, mesopelagic with adults and juveniles at 200-800 m by day and 100 (sometimes shallower)-600 m by night, pre-metamorphic larvae at 100-300 m. Adults and juveniles make short diel vertical migrations. Dioecious, adult photophore complement acquired at about 16-17 mm SL (Ref. 4739). Feeds on crustaceans and small fishes (Ref. 35388).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Quéro, J.-C., J.C. Njock and M.M. de la Hoz, 1990. Sternoptychidae. p. 275-282. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 1. (Ref. 4462)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 124695)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 5.1 - 13.3, mean 8.5 °C (based on 336 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01585 (0.00628 - 0.03998), b=3.06 (2.84 - 3.28), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.41 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (22 of 100) .