Ilyophis blachei

Author: Saldanha and Merret, 1982

llyophis blachei Saldanha and Merret, 1982

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Ilyophis blachei Saldanha and Merrett, 1982 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body elongate, slender, compressed anteriorly. Head conical, snout slightly prominent. Anterior nostril tubular, subterminal; posterior nostril rounded, bordered anteriorly by a roughly triangular flap, large enough to close nostril. Mouth terminal, its cutaneous crease reaching level of posterior edge of eye or extending half eye diameter beyond; lips absent. Teeth cardiform and caniniform in 3 or 4 series on both jaws, decreasing in size from inner to outer rows and also anteroposteriorly; vomer teeth blunt and caniniform, mostly biserial, the most robust of all dentition. Gill-slits oblique on ventral surface. Dorsal and anal fins well developed, confluent with caudal fin; origin of dorsal fin reaching beyond tip of pectoral fin by about half snout length. Lateral line long, extending very far on tail (about 87-94% SL); cephalic system with 5-6 supra-orbital, 7-8 infra-orbital and 10-11 preoperculo- mandibular pores; 3 pores on supra-temporal and 1 on supra-orbital commissures. Vertebrae: 179-188. Scales absent or present only in some regions of body, arranged in a 'basketwork' pattern. Colour: when fresh, back metallic bronze with reflective sheen; when preserved, irregularly brownish and creamish overall, belly darker or paler than remaining parts of body, peri-anal ring always dark brown; fins and pores on lateral line whitish. Size: to 77.2 cm.

Habitat: benthopelagic on lower continental slope at 1,465-2,070 m soundings. Food: carnivorous, feeds on galatheid crustaceans and certainly other prey. Reproduction: probable spawning period in June-July.

Distribution: Porcupine Sea-Bight area (off British Isles) and north of Bay of Biscay.