The Black Dragonfish is a small, long, slender fish that has fang -like teeth and they are sexually dimorphic. Black Dragonfishes are found all over the globe in southern subtropical and temperate oceans in the latitude range of 25°S and 60°S in the depths of around 2000 meters that are at a depth of 5000-7000 feet. They are also strange looking and are known for qualities including bioluminescence, their method of hunting and their unique method of reproduction. This predator is found in the Indo-pacific ocean and uses its bioluminescence to attract prey. Unlike most predators who use their light to attract a prey in the pacific ocean, these fishes can also see their own light and use it as a light source during hunting as well.
Females have very small eyes compared to the males of this species. The Black Dragonfish larvae have long stalks hanging from its body which function as eyes for these fishes. Their long stalks are almost half their body length. If you are also fascinated by this magnificent creature, then read along for some interesting Black Dragonfish facts. After, do check out our other fact files on the eel and fangtooth.
What do they prey on?
Eggs, insects, insect larvae, planktons, small invertebrates
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Large heads, broad jaws and scary looking
What are their main threats?
Red founder fish
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Deep waters of southern subtropical and temperate oceans
Black Dragonfish Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Black Dragonfish?
The Black Dragonfish is a fish that goes by the scientific name of Idiacanthus atlanticus. It is a barbeled dragonfish and is one of the six species of dragon fishes found in deep sea waters around the world.
What class of animal does a Black Dragonfish belong to?
Black Dragonfish belongs to the Actinopterygii class of animals. It is one of the most feared predators as the Black Dragonfish bioluminescence property is used by the species to attract prey in the ocean and deep sea waters.
How many Black Dragonfish are there in the world?
The number of Dragonfish present in this world is unclear. As per IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, there is no immediate threat to existence of this species in deep sea waters.
Where does a Black Dragonfish live?
The Black Dragonfish lives in the ocean and are usually found very deep in the mesopelagic to bathypelagic regions of the ocean and deep sea waters.
What is a Black Dragonfish's habitat?
Black Dragonfish are considered deep water fishes which means they are found in oceans and seas. It is found in southern subtropical and temperate oceans in the depth of 5000-7000 feet in the water.
Who do Black Dragonfish live with?
A Black Dragonfish is often seen in a group of 2-7 individuals but it is not yet confirmed whether it is a schooling behavior; also the larvae are also found together suggesting that they reside in school.
How long does a Black Dragonfish live?
All the different species of dragonfishes are known to have a lifespan of 10 years which can extend depending on their environment in deep sea waters.
How do they reproduce?
They are known to have a unique form of sexual reproduction. There is almost no information available regarding their process of reproduction other than that they practice external reproduction. Females release eggs into the water which are then fertilized by the male. The eggs then float up to the surface where they remain until hatching.
What is their conservation status?
As mentioned before there is no specific status given to Black Dragonfishes, they are considered not extinct. Their conservation status at present is of Least Concern.
Black Dragonfish Fun Facts
What do Black Dragonfish look like?
A Black Dragonfish also referred to as sea moth, they are scary looking. They have really large heads almost the size of their body, accompanied by fang teeth that protrude from their mouth which totally contributes to their scary look, almost alien like. The female species of this fish is known to have a barbel attached to their chin. Black dragonfishes have transparent teeth and dark bodies which helps them while hunting, making them great predators for small fishes and other small creatures in the water.
How cute are they?
They are not very cute but rather dangerous predators and very fearsome-looking.
How do they communicate?
Black Dragonfishes have not been studied enough and are known to have just bioluminescent and photic qualities that are believed to be used as a means of communication between them.
How big is a Black Dragonfish?
Black Dragonfishes are really small, weighing in the range of 0.02-0.03 lb and a length to a range of 2-16 in. Even a male dragonfish is almost one-fifth the size of females.
How fast can a Black Dragonfish swim?
There is not enough information available regarding the swimming speed of Black Dragonfish.
How much does a Black Dragonfish weigh?
A Black Dragonfish weighs around 0.02-0.03 lb and the females are heavier than males.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There is very limited information available regarding the species of Black Dragonfish and there are no known specific names for the male and female species. They are referred to as male Black Dragonfish and female Black Dragonfish respectively.
What would you call a baby Black Dragonfish?
There is no specific name given to the babies or young ones of Black Dragonfish and they are generally referred to as larvae which has a very weird structure. It almost has its eyes detached to its body and is found in the deep waters.
What do they eat?
Even though Black Dragonfish faces one of the biggest threats from its predator, red flounder, it has excellent predatory skills despite its small size. They eat planktons, algae, shrimp, squid, insect larvae, and other marine invertebrates. The deep water Black Dragonfish feeds on crustaceans and small fishes along with any other thing that it can find. It uses its sharp and large teeth to grab its prey. It also uses its teeth to scrape off algae from rocks in the water.
Are they poisonous?
Yes, they are and their venom can cause serious injuries. This fish species has venomous spines that are known to be harmful to humans as well as other marine creatures. They have been classified as most venomous fish in the Mediterranean.
Would they make a good pet?
Well, they are listed among one of the top sea predators and are equally dangerous to humans. But they are completely safe once their venoms spines are carefully removed.
Did you know...
As we have already seen, dragonfishes have some really distinctive characteristics.
They have the quality to produce their own light in deep waters that help them effectively deep down in waters when looking for prey.
Black Dragonfishes can produce light in the red and infrared range and it gives them an advantage in deep waters that most other creatures cannot see as well.
These fishes have photophores all over their body and these light up when they feel threatened or are provoked.
Why are Black Dragonfish so dangerous?
It is a small predator in appearance but is, in fact, one of the deadliest deep sea predators. Its most dangerous weapon are the enormous jutting teeth that are virtually invisible but extremely sharp.
Unique features of the Black Dragonfish
Black Dragonfish are known to have one of the most bizarre ways of reproduction among the whole animal kingdom.
They have extreme size difference ratios as females are known to grow up to the size of 16 in whereas males are known to be about only 2 in. The males do not have any digestive system or teeth and are believed to exist for the sole purpose of reproduction.
Black Dragonfishes hunt in dark deep waters with the help of dark luminescent barbel layer that is located near their chin and also helps with attracting their prey.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including loach, or bull shark.
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