Melamphaes leprus

Common Name

Mid-Atlantic Bigscale

Year Described

Ebeling, 1962


Dorsal Fin: III, 14-15
Anal Fin: I, 8
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Pelvic Fin: I, 7
Caudal Fin: 9-10 branched, 4 procurrent rays
Lateral Scale Rows:
Gill Rakers: 21 (first arch)
Vertebrae: 27 (11 precaudal)

Head with numerous bony ridges and pits. No post-temporal spines, projecting anterior spines, or raised bony crest on top of head. Preopercle and opercle margins relatively smooth or with weak spination. Gill rakers in first arch relatively numerous (20 or more). Anal fin origin under third or fourth dorsal ray. Pectoral fin reaches last ray of dorsal fin. Pelvic fin origin behind pectoral fin origin. Body scales large and easily shed. Four scales on gill cover. Spur absent on first haemal arch of caudal vertebrae. Opercle with four scales.


Body uniformly dark to black.


Maximum size to 113mm SL.


Mesopelagic from 150-300m.


Known from off northeastern Brazil and 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. 2011. Revision of genus Melamphaes (Melamphidae). II. Multi-raker species: M. polylepis, M. falsidicus sp. nova, M. pachystomus sp. nova, M. macrocephalus, M. leprus. Journal of Ichthyology v. 51 (no. 8): 569-580.