Diaphus minax

Common Name

Minax Lanternfish

Year Described

Nafpaktitis, 1968


Dorsal Fin: 13-14
Anal Fin: 13-14
Pelvic Fin: 8
Pectoral Fin: 11
Gill Rakers: 19-20
Lateral Line: 35-36

Body Photophores
PVO: 2 (first at base of pectoral fin; two PVO in almost straight line with first PO)
PO: 5 (first well separated from rest; fourth elevated above level of PVO2; fifth slightly elevated near pelvic base)
VO: 5 (first, second, and third in a steeply ascending line; third almost directly above fourth; first, fourth and fifth in straight line)
SAO: 3 (first over anus above level of VO5; in steep curved line; third more spaced from others right below LL)
AOa: 6 (first elevated over second; last elevated slightly; rest in line)
AOp: 5 (almost a straight line, first posterior to last anal fin ray)
Prc: 4 (curving line; equally spaced; fourth 2-3 times diameter under LL)
PLO: 1 (closer to lateral line than pectoral fin or midway, directly over second PVO)
VLO: 1 (about midway between LL and pelvic fin base)
Pol: 1 (same distance from LL as SAO3; slightly posterior to last AOa)

A very large triangular luminous scale adjacent to PLO (larger than pupil).

Head Photophores
Dn: present on the antero-dorsal part of orbit above nostril; large (around size of nasal organ), rounded and anteriorly directed.
Vn: present on the anterior and antero-ventral part of the orbit; thick and elongate, running from Dn to the ventral part of the orbit, including the rear margin of the nasal organ. Mature adults with similar sized organs. A dark band of tissue surrounds the organ.
Op: 2 (first small behind jaw, second above it is similar in size to a body photophore)


Dark with silvery sheen on scales. Dark pigment between luminous organs on head and around eyes. Fins pale.


Maximum size to 66.5mm.


Midwater pelagic. Caught from 60-125m but distribution most likely wider.

Range Map

 Range Map


So far known from the eastern Gulf of Mexico, off southeastern Florida, and in the southwestern Caribbean Sea.


Hartel, K.E. and J.E. Craddock. 2003. Myctophiformes. pp. 942-951. In: FAO Species Identification Guide to Fishes of the Western Atlantic. (ed. Carpenter, K.), pp. 1308–1369. UN FAO Publishers, Rome.

Nafpaktitis, B.G. 1968. Taxonomy and distribution of the lanternfishes, genera Lobianchia and Diaphus, in the North Atlantic. Dana Report No. 73: 1-131, Pls. 1-2.

Nafpaktitis, B.G. 1977. Family Myctophidae. In: Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Sears Foundation for Marine Research. Part 7, No. 1: 13-258.