Photostylus pycnopterus

Common Name

Starry Smoothhead

Year Described

Beebe, 1933


Dorsal Fin: 12-15
Anal Fin: 16-19
Pectoral Fin: 17-20
Pelvic Fin: 6-7
Pyloric Caeca: 3-4
Branchiostegal Rays: 6

Body elongate and slender, with a short head. Body covered in stalked light organs. Eye diameter smaller than snout length. Snout pointed with a steep forehead profile. A single row of teeth of premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary, but vomer toothless. Palatine with two teeth. Rear margin of jaw extends to posterior margin of orbit. A single supramaxilla above maxilla. Dorsal fin origin almost directly over anal fin origin (anal fin a little longer). Pectoral and pelvic fins fairly small. Scales absent.


Uniformly brownish.


Maximum size to 11cm SL.


Continental slopes from 1,000-2,000m.


Gulf of Mexico


McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii + 1-1112.

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.