Anotopterus pharao

Common Name

North Atlantic Daggertooth

Year Described

Zugmayer, 1911


Dorsal Fin: absent
Anal Fin: 12-15 (usually 13-15)
Pectoral Fin: 13-15 (usually 14)
Pelvic Fin: 9-10 (usually 9)
Vertebrae: 77-81
Lower Jaw Teeth: 8-9

Very elongate with a huge mouth and large eye. Head depth 23.2-26.8% of lower jaw length; postorbital region 28.8-33.3% HL; post-adipose distance 6.0-7.4% SL (Kukuev, 1998). Dorsal fin absent. Adipose fin placed far back on dorsal midline. Pelvic fins small. Anal fin under adipose fin. Caudal fin forked.


Body silvery with a dark back.


Maximum size to 96cm SL.


Epi-mesopelagic and deeper. Adults live in cold Arctic waters and migrate into more temperate to spawn. Juveniles return to high latitudes to mature and feed.


Northwestern Atlantic: Greenland to Arctic Canada, and likely cold portions of the Labrador Current. Also the central North Atlantic gyre.


Kukuev, E.I. 1998. Systematics and distribution in the world ocean of daggertooth fishes of the genus Anotopterus (Anotopteridae, Aulopiformes). J. Ichthyol. 38(9):716-729.