Mirognathus normani

Common Name

Norman's Smoothhead

Year Described

Parr, 1951


Dorsal Fin: 16-22
Anal Fin: 16-20
Pectoral Fin: absent or rudimentary
Pelvic Fin: 5-6
Gill Rakers: 28-30 (total in first arch)
Vertebrae: 45-48

Body elongate and slender, with a large head. Eye diameter much shorter than snout length (2.5 times in snout). Snout pointed with lower jaw projecting. Premaxilla, maxilla, dentaries, palatine, and vomer toothless. Jaws with cartilaginous tips. Rear margin of jaw extends to middle of orbit. Two supramaxilla above maxilla. Dorsal fin origin anterior to anal fin origin (anal fin similar in size). Pectoral and pelvic fins fairly large. Scales absent. A small light organ near jaw tip.


Bluish-black anterior of pelvic fin, grading into yellowish posteriorly.


Maximum size to 20cm SL.


Bathypelagic from 2,000-3,000m.


Off the northeastern U.S. Also the southwestern Atlantic from Brazil to Argentina. Probably more widespread in the western Atlantic.


Moore, J.A. , K.E. Hartel, J.E. Craddock and J.K. Galbraith. 2003. An annotated list of deepwater fishes from off the New England region, with new area records. Northeastern Naturalist v. 10 (no. 2): 159-248.

Sazonov, Yu.I. & P. R. Last. 2000. Redescription of the rare slickhead Mirognathus normani (Salmoniformes: Alepocephalidae) with the first record fromm the western South Pacific. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research v. 34 (no. 2): 385-389.

Whitehead, P.J.P. , M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J.G. Nielsen and E. Tortonese. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I-III. UNESCO. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. http://species-identification.org.