DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Larval anglerfishes are enveloped in a jelly casing, as they pass through metamorphosis, this casing disappears. This is a larval female from the family Linophrynidae. She is nearly through metamorphosis and has a well developed illicium, esca, and chin barbell; however, note the lack of giant teeth - something that develops late in metamorphosis. Linophryne is a special group of fish because they demonstrate two distinctive modes of bioluminescence, intrinsic bioluminescence and bacterial bioluminescence. The evolution of both modes in a single species is extremely rare. The esca or lure is filled with bacteria that produce light and live in a symbiosis with the fish. The chin barbell or beard glows in the dark via the production of luciferin and luciferase by the fish - an intrinsic method of light production by the fish itself. This specimen was trawled up in the Gulf of Mexico, 2016, from between 1,200 and 1000 meters depth. Image courtesy of the DEEPEND project.
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