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Author: Cocco, 1839

Schedophilus medusophagus Cocco, 1839

Diagnosis: about 12 prominent spines on the preopercular margin. Mouth large; no teeth on roof of mouth. Gillrakers on first arch usually 5 + 1 + 11. Single dorsal fin with a few weak spines almost indistinguishable from the rays, total spines and rays 44-50, its origin ahead of pectoral fin base. Lateral line scales 160-230, increasing in number with growth. Colour: brown, with a mottled pattern in the young, but quite uniform in adults. Size: to 50 cm SL.

Habitat: oceanic, or mesopelagic, the young tending to occur shallower than the adults. Behaviour: young to 20 cm commonly hover with medusae in surface layers; adults found at depth, probably not with medusae. Food: tentacles and gonads of medusae on which the fish browse with a rather relaxed twisting motion; also small crustaceans.

Distribution: temperate waters of the north-eastern Atlantic; also west ern Mediterranean only. Elsewhere, temperate waters of north-western Atlantic .

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lütken, 1880: pl. 2 (fig. 9) | Haedrich, 1966: 210, fig. 6C.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Schedophilus medusophagus