Newly Discovered Mirrorbellies Fish May Communicate With Light That Shines From Their Bellies

Posted on August 19, 2016

New Mirrorbellies Fish

Scientists have discovered two new species of mirrorbellies fish. The deep-sea fish can be found at depths of 200 to 1,000 meters. These fish may communicate with light that shines from their bellies.

The fish have a pouch-like organ in their intestinal tract that produces light from bacteria that grows in the pouch. The organ is known as a sole. The sole displays light when it expands and conceals light when it contracts.

The research was led by Jan Poulsen from the Australian Museum, Sydney. Poulsen tells PLOS News, "Deep sea fishes are some of the most extraordinary creatures on our amazing planet."

The discovered doubles the number of sole-bearing Opisthoproctidae. The fish family is also known as barreleyes because of their unusual tubular eyes.

A research paper on the discovery was published here in the journal, PLOS One.

Photo: Poulsen et al. (2016)