Symphurus megasomus Lee, Chen & Shao, 2009
Giant tonguefish
Symphurus megasomus
photo by Lee, M.-Y.

 Family:  Cynoglossidae (Tonguefishes), subfamily: Symphurinae
 Max. size:  14.67 cm SL (male/unsexed); 14.34 cm SL (female)
 Environment:  benthopelagic; depth range 200 - 640 m
 Distribution:  Northwest Pacific: Taiwan.
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 106-111; Anal soft rays: 91-96; Vertebrae: 55-58. This species is distinguished from all its congeners, except S. hondoensis and S. undatus, by its predominant 1-2-3-2-2 ID pattern. It also differs from both abovementioned species in having smaller eye (5.3-7.9% HL vs. 11.0-14.9% HL in S. hondoensis and 11.5-13.8% HL in S. undatus). This species further differs from S. hondoensis in having 9 abdominal vertebrae (vs. 10). S. megasomus is also distinguished from S. undatus, by having higher fin-ray counts, 106-111 dorsal-fin rays and 91-96 anal-fin rays (vs. 101-105 dorsal-fin rays and 87-91 anal-fin rays) and a uniform straw-colored to dark brown ocular-side coloration (vs. freckled ocular-side pigmentation) (Ref. 82423).
 Biology:  This deep-water tonguefish species is known only from the continental shelf and upper continental slope off northeastern and eastern Taiwan; from 471-640 m by research vessels. Polychaetes, small crustaceans and some unidentified detritus were found in the digestive systems of fishes examined. Little else is known regarding the biology of this species (Ref. 82423).
 IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated  (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 04.01.10

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