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Melamphaidae (Bigscale Fishes)

Species Currently in the DFL

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Poromitra crassiceps
Crested Bigscale
About This Family
Occur in most oceans, except the Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Meso- to bathypelagic.
Bigscales, or Ridgehead Fishes, are subcylindrical in shape, with large heads and short steep snouts. The common names derive from the fact that they have 1) big deciduous scales and 2) a series of mucous cavities separated by thin ridges on their heads.They are often dark brown or black in color, with long jaws and many minute teeth. The teeth are arranged either in bands or in a uniserial row in the jaws, however, the palate is toothless.

Members of the Bigscale family are relatively small, never reaching more than about 16 cm TL. Their one dorsal fin has 1-3 weak spines and 9-18 soft rays, and the lateral line is reduced to only 1 or 2 pored scales behind the gill cover. Very little is known about the behavior of these deep sea fishes, however they are known to feed on gelatinous organisms (such as jellyfishes, tunicates) and small crustaceans.

This family consists of 5 genera and 36 species.
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