Telescopefish (Gigantura chuni) from the Gulf of Mexico between 1,500 and 1,200m depth.
Telescopefish (Gigantura indica and G. chuni) are deepwater fishes with a spectacular appearance. The telescoping eyes might be used to track bioluminescent prey items in the darkness of the depths. Further evidence that these fishes eat bioluminescent prey items include a stomach with a black tissue lining. The function would be to conceal recently consumed prey items that might still be glowing, keeping the predator from becoming a prey item to larger fishes. The sharp and significant teeth undoubtedly subdue prey. One of the miraculous aspects to these species is that the larvae look nothing like the adults and a tremendous metamorphosis takes place. This individual was trawled from the Gulf of Mexico between 1,500 and 1,200m depth, 2016. Image courtesy of the DEEPEND project.
Gigantura chuni is a telescope fish found mainly in the deep, tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans between 18°N-21°S. Larvae are commonly caught between 30-170 m and adults can be found between 500-1,500 m. It is also found in the Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern central Atlantic, this species is found between 20°N and 10°S including the Gulf of Guinea. There are published accounts of this species off of South Africa.