Research Technical Report
Morphological, Molecular, and In Situ Behavioral Observations of the Rare Deep-sea Anglerfish Chaunacops coloratus (Garman, 1899), Order Lophiiformes, in the Eastern North Pacific
Lundsten, L., S.B. Johnson, G.M. Cailliet, A.P. DeVogelaere, and D.A. Clague (August 2012)
Deep-Sea Research I 68:46-53
In situ observations and collections of Chaunacops coloratus (Garman, 1899) from seamounts in the eastern North Pacific Ocean lend new behavioral, morphological and molecular data to an under-sampled, deep-sea group of fishes in the order Lophiiformes. Seven observations were made at Davidson Seamount, 130 km southwest of Monterey, CA, and from the Taney Seamount chain, 290 km west of Moss Landing, CA, from depths ranging from 2313 to 3297 m. Specimens were collected at both locations. Morphometric and meristic analyses were performed to identify individuals to the species level. These observations of C. coloratus provide greater latitude and depth distributions in the eastern North Pacific Ocean than previously known. Detailed habitat information indicated the fish occurred near manganese-encrusted volcanic talus slopes, a highly rugose habitat. Video observations revealed possible ontogenetic color changes in which small fish were blue and large fish were red. Video recorded rapid, vertical swimming as an escape response and maneuvering, or walking, with pectoral and pelvic fins and esca deployment. Phylogenetic analyses used here verify what has been known since Garman first described C. coloratus in 1899, that Chaunax and Chaunacops are closely related; molecular tools complement previous knowledge and genetic information created has been submitted to GenBank for further use by the scientific community.