Thornton Ritz Name: Lampridiformes (Greek lampri = bright) Taxonomy Superclass: Gnathostomata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Lampridiformes Families: Lampridae: Lamproidei (moonfish), Veliferoidei (sailbearers), Lophotidae (crestfishes), Trachipteridae (ribbonfishes), Stylephoroidei (tube-eyes), Regalecidae (oarfishes), 12 genera 20 species Description: Most species are compressiform but body shape is highly variable. They are mostly soft rayed except for one or two fin spines located in the anal and dorsal fin (Family: Veliferoidei). Dorsal fins tend to be long and extend the length of the body. Sizes in the family range from approximately 30 cm to 17 m long. All jaws are highly protrusible due to its unique maxilla, with the help of the premaxilla slides in and out of the mouth. Some species have a physoclistous gas bladder that is not attached to the digestive tract but some species have no gas bladder. When present scales are cycloid, can often be bright colors or spotted. Habitat: Marine, pelagic Distribution: Found in most tropical or temperate waters in depths of 100-1000 meters. Species are found in the pelagic zone but also can be found in benthic areas. Ecology and Life History: Some species feed on plankton by expanding their unique jaws and sucking in their prey. Other species prey upon squid and small crustaceans. Due to their rarity these species have not been studied in depth. Additional Details: Contains the longest known of all bony fish (Regalecus glesne), which reach up to 17 m long. This fish has been known to inspire sea serpent stories by seamen and along the coast. Recent Research: Bianco, P. G., V. Ketmaier, and V. Zupo. 2006. Occurrence of the scalloped ribbonfish Zu cristatus (lampridiformes) in coastal waters of the central Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy. Journal of Fish Biology 68:150-155. References Used: Carl E. Bond, 1996. Biology of Fishes, 2nd ed. Saunders College Publ., Fort Worth Swinney, G. N. 2006. The first record of fishes of the rare deep-sea family Megalomycteridae (Lampriformes) from the north-eastern Atlantic. Journal of Fish Biology 38:839-843.