Melamphaes longivelis

Common Name

Longfin Bigscale

Year Described

Parr, 1933


Dorsal Fin: III, 17-18
Anal Fin: I, 8
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Pelvic Fin: I, 7
Caudal Fin: 9-10 branched, 4 procurrent rays
Lateral Scale Rows: 31-36
Gill Rakers: 17-19
Vertebrae: 28-29

Head with numerous bony ridges and pits. No post-temporal spines, projecting anterior spines, or raised bony crest on top of head. Eye diameter less than suborbital bone width. Preopercle with two weak spines at angle. Opercular margins relatively smooth or with weak spination. Gill rakers in first arch relatively few (19 or less). Anal fin origin behind last dorsal ray. Pectoral fin reaches last ray of dorsal fin. Pelvic fin origin under or slightly behind pectoral fin origin. Body scales large and easily shed. Four scales on gill cover. Spur absent on first haemal arch of caudal vertebrae.


Body uniformly dark to black.


Maximum size to 127mm SL


Mesopelagic from 0-1600m. Taken near the surface at night.


Tropical and subtropical Atlantic: Caribbean Sea north into the Gulf Stream to off the northeastern U.S. and George's Bank. Also off Brazil and in the eastern Atlantic.


Afonso, G. V. F., Di Dario, F., Eduardo, L. N., Lucena-Fr├ędou, F., Bertrand, A., & M.M. Mincarone. 2021. Taxonomy and distribution of deep-sea bigscales and whalefishes (Teleostei: Stephanoberycoidei) collected off northeastern Brazil, including seamounts and oceanic islands. Ichthyology & Herpetology, 109(2), 467-488.

Kotlyar, A. N. 2015. Revision of the genus Melamphaes (Melamphaidae): 2. Oligo-Raker species: M. longivelis Parr, M. inconspicuus sp. n., M. kobylyanskyi sp. n. Journal of Ichthyology, v. 55 (no. 3): 311-318.

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 10(2): 159-248.

Other Notes

The only other oligo-rakered species known from the western Atlantic are Melamphaes eulepis and M. inconspicuus. The former has a narrow suborbital bone and thicker, exposed head ridges. The related M. inconspicuus has fewer dorsal fin rays and vertebrae, as well as differing in many morphometric measurements (Kotlyar, 2015).