The Flashlight Fish (Photoblepharon palpebratum)
Have you ever wondered why some fish at the bottom of the ocean glow? Well, today is a great day to find out about it. So let's look at the science and see what it has to say about this glowing wonder.
Physical Description and Behavior
The Flashlight or Eyelight Fish is small dark fish that has a stout, rounded body. It is mostly black with a very noticeable white spot on its face near the eye. It is only known to be about 5 inches long, so it is pretty short compared to many members of their lineage. In the summer months, they spawn, allowing the female to produce up to 1000 eggs per spawn.
This is a saltwater fish that is also nocturnal. You can often see them traveling at night due to their glow. Their white spot on their face emits a blue-green light that allows them to see in the dark and see other members of their species. It can also cover it up if it does not want to emit light.
The reason that it glows is due to bacteria in its white gland that glows at night. It survives off of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. It is unsure why they emit this light, but not that much is known about them due to the fact that they hide during the day.
Habitat and Location
They are found in many locations across the pacific ocean. This stretches from the Philippines to the Society Islands. However, not many people see them during the day due to the fact that they are nocturnal. They often travel in pairs and can be found near reefs.
While it is mainly seen less than 50 feet below the surface, it is believed to travel as far as 150 feet down.
Check out this video in order to see them in action!