Chlorophthalmus agassizii

Author: Bonaparte, 1840

Chlorophthalmus agassizii Bonaparte, 1840

Status in World Register of Marine Species:
Accepted name: Chlorophthalmus agassizi Bonaparte, 1840 (updated 2009-06-25)

Diagnosis: head depressed, snout broad and spatulate. Eyes very large, elliptical, directed dorsolaterally; horizontal orbit diameter exceeding snout length. Inter-orbital space very narrow. Lower jaw projecting beyond upper jaw and ending in a bony knob. Maxilla falling short of midpoint of eye, its blade expanded posteriorly. Teeth in jaws very small, conical, depressible; arrayed in bands. Gillrakers of anterior arch 19-22, blade-like. Pelvic fins inserted just behind dorsal fin origin. Adipose fin present, inserted opposite anal fin. Caudal fin deeply forked. Dorsal finrays 10-12; anal finrays 7-9; pelvic finrays 8-9; pectoral finrays 15-17. Lateral line scales 50-55 (46-48 vertebrae). No axillary scales at fin bases. Colour: body yellow to brown with darker blotches; eyes greenish. Size: to 12 cm commonly (20 cm max.).

Habitat: demersal on the continental shelf and upper slope over mud and clay bottom. Depth range 50-1,000 m; bottom temperature range 13 °C to 4.5 °C. Behaviour: catch data indicate a schooling habit. Population data (Mead, 1966e) suggest an absence of north-south migration. Food: mainly bottom-dwelling invertebrates (Mead, 1966e). Reproduction: species is monoecious. Young stages are pelagic near surface and have been described and figured (Sanzo, 1915; Taning, 1918; Tortonese, 1956); osteology has been described and discussed (Rosen, 1971; Sulak, 1977b). Species is fragmented into morphologically distinct geographic populations (Mead, 1966e). Commercial importance: taken in bottom trawls in the Mediterranean, sold fresh. Taken by Soviet and Polish trawlers off north-western Africa; made into fish meal.

Distribution: ranges from Spain to Senegal in the eastern Atlantic. Very abundant in the central basin of the Mediterranean. In the western Atlantic known from Cape Cod to Suriname. The genus is circumglobal at temperate and tropical latitudes.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Tåning, 1918: 5 | Tortonese, 1956d: 897.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.