A rather short-bodied, charcoal gray fish with a black face and chin. Flashlight fish are most recognizable for their half-moon shaped spots beneath the eyes that are actually small organs that house light-producing bacteria. To eliminate the effect, the flashlight fish can “blink” dark membranes up to cover the light.
  • Size

    Up to 4.7 inches (12 cm)
  • Diet

    Diet consists of zooplankton and small fish
  • Range

    Occurs in the Pacific from the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea through Indonesia and the Philippines, throughout the South Pacific to New Caledonia
  • Habitat

    Found around coral reefs

Physical Characteristics

  • A rather short-bodied, charcoal gray fish with a black face and chin. White patches mark the base of the pectoral fins. A curving lateral line of raised dots run from behind the operculum to the caudal fin.
  • Half-moon shaped spots beneath the eyes are actually small organs that house light-producing bacteria. To eliminate the effect, the flashlight fish can “blink” dark membranes up to cover the light.
  • Up to 4.7 inches (12 cm) in length.

Animal Fact

Flashlight fish are most recognizable for their half-moon shaped spots beneath the eyes that are actually small organs that house light-producing bacteria.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of zooplankton and small fish.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Pacific from the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea through Indonesia and the Philippines, throughout the South Pacific to New Caledonia.
  • Found around coral reefs, generally shallow, to about 50 feet (15 m). Has been found at depths of as much as 164 feet (50 m).

Reproduction & Growth

  • Oviparous, or egg-laying species. Adults spawn at night, with females producing as many as 1,000 eggs.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Nocturnal; hides deep in caves during the day.
  • This fish has the largest photophore, or light-producing organ, of any bioluminescent species. It also produces the brightest glow: can be seen from over 100 feet (30.5 m) away.
  • Also known as the lanterneye fish.

Sources

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