Fish Guide

Flashlight Fish   (Anomalops katoptron)
Family: Anomalopidae (Flashlight Fishes)
Natural Range: Indo-Pacific Region
Depth: 65 to 163 ft.   Size: 11 in.   Jumps: No   Space: 55+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes   Care Level: Difficult   Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Zooplankton
Natural History: The Flashlight Fish is found on deep reef slopes down to over 1000 feet. There are two forms of this species - one is considered a deep-water subspecies and the other is shallow-water. The shallow-water variety is often found in schools of up to 50 fish at depths ranging from 65 to 163 feet. The deep-water form ranges from 650 to 1,300 feet. Flashlight Fish can control their photophores (light-emitting organs) by rotating them within their sockets to stop illumination. Most flashlight fish migrate to shallower water at night to feed.
Husbandry: Shallow-water Flashlight Fish are more suitable for aquarium acclimation than their deep-water relatives. Improper capture and handling techniques may make some specimens very difficult to acclimate to captivity. Deepwater reef collection has produced swimbladder buoyancy problems in captured specimens. This species is reported difficult to care for in captivity. Several darkened areas should be provided for the Flashlight Fish, which prefers dim light. It should also better acclimate in small groups. In a community tank, all tankmates should be unaggressive. Live brine shrimp may be required to initiate feeding.

AKA: Splitfin Flashlightfish

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