Halosaurus ovenii

Author: Johnson, 1863

Halosaurus ovenii Johnson, 1863

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Halosaurus ovenii Johnson, 1864 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body compressed, conspicuously darker on its upper half. Greatest depth equals 1/13-1/17 TL. Dorsal finrays I + 8-9; pelvic finrays I + 9; pectoral finrays I + 13-16. Palatine tooth patches meet on midline. Anterior gill arch with a total of 10-12 rakers. Top and sides of head scaled anteriorly nearly to end of snout; opercle scaled. Lateral line scales unpigmented and only slightly larger than body scales. Preanal lateral line scales 59-68. Pyloric caeca pale, largely unpigmented, 12-20. Colour: pinkish with silvery reflection. Interior lining of mouth with characteristic pale areas, not uniformly dark as in other halosaurs. Size: to 45-50 cm. (gnathoproctal length to 18 cm).

Habitat: benthopelagic; the shallowest-occurring halosaur in the Atlantic, depth range 400-1,700 m (usually less than 800 m). Behaviour: may form aggregations. Food: polychaetes, crustaceans, fish remains. Reproduction: presumed leptocephalus as yet undescribed. Adults sexually dimorphic; males have enlarged nostrils.

Distribution: the Canaries, the Azores and the Mediterranean (off Algeria). Elsewhere, off South Africa and in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic slope of the Antilles.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Vaillant, 1888: 180 | Poll, 1953: 108 | Harrisson, 1966: 468; 1972: 554
Otoliths (sagitta). Vaillant, 1888, pl. XVI (fig. 3-3a).