Tetragonurus cuvieri

Author: Risso, 1810

Tetragonurus cuvieri Risso, 1810

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Tetragonurus cuvieri Risso, 1810 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: body cylindrical, elongate. Inter-orbital distance greater than eye diameter, snout longer than eye diameter; lower jaw shuts within the upper; lachrymal bone greatly expanded. D XV-XXI + 10-17; A I + 10-15; P 14-21. Origin of dorsal fin behind or over end of pectoral fin; origin of pelvic fin behind pectoral fin base. Adherent keeled scales arranged in a geodesic pattern around body; lateral series of scales to origin of caudal keels 97-114. Vertebrae 52-58. Colour: light to dark brown, young specimens sometimes greyish; larval specimens usually with pigment at base of caudal fin. Size: to about 70 cm SL, but most encountered are much smaller.

Habitat: oceanic in warm and temperate waters, the young epipelagic and the adults presumably mesopelagic. Young commonly inquiline in pelagic tunicates, especially Salpa and Pyrosoma. Adults appear to be solitary. Food: the teeth are specially adapted for browsing on softbodied coelenterates (medusae), ctenophores and especially salps; will also take plankton. There are conflicting reports that the flesh of T. cuvieri is poisonous. Reproduction: spawn during spring and summer in the Atlantic; ripe females have been taken throughout the year in the Mediterranean

Distribution: western Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic southward from southern British Isles. Elsewhere, Pacific. Nowhere abundant.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lütken, 1880: pl. 2 (fig. 8) | Spartà, 1929: fig. 1-2 | Spartà, 1947: 223, pl, 1.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.