No common name

Sagitta enflata

ORDER

Aphragmophora

FAMILY

Sagittidae

TAXONOMY

Sagitta enflata Grassi, 1881, Bay of Naples.

H Sagitta enflata H Sagitta bipunctata

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Individuals have 8-10 hooks, 4-10 anterior teeth, and 4-15 posterior teeth. Maximum adult body length is 0.98 in (25 mm), and the relative tail length is quite short at 14-17% of total body size. The body is flaccid and transparent. There are two pairs of lateral fins and no fin bridge. Anterior fins are very short, partially rayed, and round. Posterior fins are short, partially rayed, and round. There is no collarette, nor are there gut diverticula. Eyes are small, with star-shaped pigment spots. Seminal vesicles are round, touch the tail fin, and are well separated from the posterior fins. Ovaries are small, reaching to the middle of the post fins; ova are large.

DISTRIBUTION

Epipelagic and cosmopolitan, occurring from 40°N to 40°S. HABITAT

Oceanic and pelagic species that lives in tropical and subtropical waters at depths of 0-985 ft (0-300 m). Reported to tolerate different degrees of salinity and may occur in inshore waters.

BEHAVIOR

Shows evidence of diurnal vertical distribution. Juveniles occur at higher levels of the water column than do the adults. Rapid darting movements are made over short distances to catch prey.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Prefers small copepods. Feeds at night after moving to superficial layers.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Reproduces several times a year, but the number of times is dependent on water temperature. Hermaphroditic, and sperm is stored in the oviducts waiting for eggs to mature. Fertilized eggs are released in the sea water. There is no larval stage.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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