saccopharynx

The gulper Eel, Saccopharynx (1829)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Saccopharyngiformes
Suborder : Saccopharyngoidea
Family : Saccopharyngidae
Genus : Saccopharynx
Species : S. ampullaceus, S. berteli, S. harrisoni, S. hjorti, S. lavenbergi, S. paucovertebratis, S. ramosus, S. schmidti, S. thalassa, S. trilobatus

  • Least concern
  • 2 m long (size)
  • Deep sea (map)

Saccopharynx is a genus of deep-sea eel-like fishes with large mouths, distensible stomachs and long, scaleless bodies. It is the only genus in the family Saccopharyngidae. The name is from Latin saccus meaning “sack” and Greek φάρυγξ, pharynx.

Like other saccopharyngiforms, fishes in this genus are known as gulpers or gulper eels. They are generally black in color, and can grow to lengths of 2 m. They have been found at depths of 1,800 m . Their tails are tipped by a luminous, bulb-shaped organ. The exact purpose of this organ is unknown, although it is most likely used as a lure, similar to the esca of anglerfish.