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Aphanopus carbo  Lowe, 1839

Black scabbardfish
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Aphanopus carbo   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Aphanopus carbo (Black scabbardfish)
Aphanopus carbo
Female picture by Cambraia Duarte, P.M.N. (c)ImagDOP

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Trichiuridae (Cutlassfishes) > Aphanopodinae
Etymology: Aphanopus: Greek, aphanes = hidden + Greek, pous = foot (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Lowe.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; bathypelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 108735); depth range 200 - 2300 m (Ref. 108733), usually 700 - 1300 m (Ref. 108735).   Deep-water; 71°N - 23°S, 82°W - 17°E (Ref. 6181)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North Atlantic: on both sides and at underwater rises from Denmark Strait to Cape Verde.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 111.6  range ? - 117.5 cm
Max length : 151 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 108708); common length : 70.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3698); max. published weight: 0.00 g

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 34 - 41; Dorsal soft rays (total): 52-56; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 43 - 48; Vertebrae: 97 - 100. Body is extremely elongated, with body depth 10.8 to 13.4 times in SL. The snout is large with strong fang-like teeth. Pelvic fins represented by a single spine in juveniles but entirely absent in adults. Color is coppery black with iridescent tint. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities black.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Juveniles mesopelagic (Ref. 6181). Bathypelagic (Ref. 58426). Migrate to midwater at night and feed on crustaceans, cephalopods and fishes (mostly macrourids, morids and alepocephalids). Mature at 80 to 85 cm. Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6768). Data from study reveal mature individuals undertake horizontal migration to spawning and nursery grounds located off the Madeira and Canary islands (Ref. 108708). Commercial catch up to 1000 t was caught off Madeira with a specialized commercial deep water longline (Ref. 6255). Appear as bycatch in the trawl fishery west of the British Isles, along the Middle-Atlantic Ridge and at Corner Rise. Important and fabled food fish in Madeira (Ref. 4537). Some specimens reach 145 cm (Nuno Marques, [email protected], 12/09).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Displays determinate fecundity (Ref. 108695). Mature individuals undertake horizontal migration to spawning and nursery grounds (Ref. 108708). Suspended pre-spawning stages occurred in some areas of the Northeast Atlantic caused by atresia in ovaries (Ref. 108708).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Parin, Nikolay V. | Collaborators

Nakamura, I. and N.V. Parin, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 15. Snake mackerels and cutlassfishes of the world (families Gempylidae and Trichiuridae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the snake mackerels, snoeks, escolars, gemfishes, sackfishes, domine, oilfish, cutlassfishes,. scabbardfishes, hairtails, and frostfishes known to date. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(15):136 p. (Ref. 6181)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 1.1 - 12.6, mean 7.1 (based on 244 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00046 (0.00032 - 0.00064), b=3.15 (3.06 - 3.24), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  4.5   ±0.77 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.11-0.25, tmax=14).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (64 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.