Diaphus bertelseni

Common Name

Bertelsen's Lanternfish

Year Described

Nafpaktitis, 1966


Dorsal Fin: 14-15
Anal Fin: 15
Pelvic Fin: 8
Pectoral Fin: 11
Gill Rakers: 18
Lateral Line: 34-35

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; 2-3-5 in straight line; fourth elevated above level of other 4;)
VO: 5 (first, second, fourth, and fifth in straight line along belly; third elevated)
SAO: 3 (first over anus; in steep line equidistant from each other; third well below lateral line)
AOa: 6 (first elevated compared to second, second through fifth in line, sixth elevated slightly)
AOp: 4 (almost a straight line, first over last ray of anal fin)
Prc: 4 (curving line with the fourth separated more than the other three; fourth similar distance from LL as SAO3 and Pol)
PLO: 1 (much closer to pectoral fin than lateral line, directly over second PVO)
VLO: 1 (much closer to pelvic fin base than LL)
Pol: 1 (at same distance from LL as Prc4 and SAO3; slightly posterior to last AOa)

A large triangular luminous scale adjacent to PLO is 3-4 times its size.

Head Photophores
Dn: present on the antero-dorsal part of orbit above nostril; small, round and anteriorly directed.
Vn: present on the antero-ventral part of the orbit; elongate but relatively small; runs from under nostril to the level of the anterior margin of the pupil.
Op: 2 (first tiny behind jaw, second above it is similar in size to a body photophore)


Body black with paler photophores. Naked skin pale. Dark tissue surrounds the Dn and most of the Vn.


Mature adults from 60-90mm.


Oceanic in open ocean. Vertical migrator: found 200-300m by day and 60-175m by night.

Range Map

 Range Map


Tropical and subtropical Atlantic: scattered records from the Gulf Stream to S. Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the 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.