Deep-sea fish with a transparent head captured on camera
A species of deep-sea fish called the barreleye fish (Macropinna microstomy) was observed with the MBARI Remote Control Vehicle (ROV) Ventana in Monterey Bay off California, United States.
Macropinna microstomy is a deep-sea ray-finned fish in the barrel-eye family Opisthoproctidae.
The species was discovered and described in 1939 by American marine biologist Wilbert McLeod Chapman.
It occurs at lower mesopelagic depths under the temperate and subarctic waters of the North Pacific, from the Bering Sea to Japan and Baja California, Mexico.
Macropinna microstomy measures approximately 6 inches (15cm) in length.
He has a tiny mouth, most of his body is covered with large scales, and his eyes are capped with bright green lenses.
He also has a transparent shield filled with very unusual fluid on his head. This protects his sensitive eyes from nematocysts (stinging cells) in siphonophores, one of the apparent sources of his food.
“The barreleye lives in the twilight zone of the ocean, at depths of 600 to 800 m (2,000 to 2,600 feet),” scientists from MBARI said.
“Its eyes look up to spot its favorite prey – usually small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of siphonophores – from the shadows they cast in the faint shimmer of the sun from above.”
“But how does this fish eat when its eyes are up and its mouth is forward?” “
“In 2019, our researchers learned that the barreleye can rotate its eyes under this transparent fabric dome.”
Macropinna microstomy Normally hangs almost motionless in water using its large fins for stability.
“Dr. Tommy Knowles and his team from the Monterey Bay Aquarium were aboard the MBARI R / V Rachel Carson with our ROV Ventana to collect jellies and comb jellies for the next edition of the Aquarium In the depths exposure when they spotted this fascinating fish, ”the researchers said.
“We stopped to marvel Macropinna microstomy before it flies away.