Mexican Lampfish
Linterna Mexicana
(Triphoturus mexicanus)

Mexican Lampfish, Triphoturus mexicanus: The Mexican Lampfish has a long slender body that tapers toward the end. The body is silvery black in color being darker around the head and the base of the tail.

They are sparsely and randomly covered with photophores.

They have transparent anal, caudal and dorsal fins with the anal and dorsal fins are without spines and contain 13 to 16 and 13 to 17 soft rays respectively.

They are found from the surface up to 13,000 feet in the water column in all Mexican oceanic waters of the Pacific. They reach a maximum length of 7.0 cm (2.75 inches).

The Mexican Lampfish is a member of the Myctophidae Family of Lanternfishes known in Mexico as Linternillas. Presently there are over 230 species from 32 genera of laternfishes known globally and a few are some of the most common fishes in the world.

They are typically small being less than 6-inches with silvery or black colorations with photophores (light producing) arranged in groups along their sides and bellies. They are found worldwide in the mesopelagic (up to 650 feet deep), bathypelagic (from 650 feet to 3,300 feet), and abbysopelagic (from 3,300 to 13,300 feet) zones.

Many species vertically migrate each night towards the surface to feed. Some, including the Mexican Lampfish, come all the way to the surface and can be attracted by bright lights and caught with a dipnet. They feed on zooplankton and reproduce via pelagic eggs and have lifespans from 1 to 8 years. They are heavily preyed upon by many marine fishes and mammals.

Mexican Lampfish picture

Mexican Lampfish, Triphoturus mexicanus: Fish collected by H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institute of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif., in a deep water trawl net off Point Loma in August 2010. Length 6 cm (2.3 inches). Description courtesy of John Snow.