16-09-2022, 15:15
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Photoblepharon steinitzi

Photoblepharon steinitzi, Flashlight fish in nature inhabit the western part of the Indian Ocean: the Red Sea, Comoros and Reunion Islands, as well as southern Oman, Somalia and Maldives. Fish inhabit caves in deep rocky reefs and are usually found at a depth of about 30 m during the day, and at dusk, rising to the surface to a depth of 1-15 m, where they feed on crustaceans and small fish. Flashlight fish was first described in 1973 by ichthyologists Tokiharu Abe and Yata Haneda, but despite this fish today can not often be found in recreational aquariums. This is due to the fact that they relatively recently began to be delivered to the European market.

Photoblepharon steinitzi has a dark brown coloration with blue pores on the lateral line. Under the eyes is a voluminous glowing organ, the glow of which is provided by symbiotic bacteria. The fish is able to turn its light on and off at will, thanks to a black flap that rises or falls in front of the organ. It is something like a flashing beacon. The fish uses its luminous organ when searching for prey, dodging predators, and communicating with other members of its species.  The maximum size of the fish reaches 12 cm.

Photoblepharon steinitzi

Photoblepharon steinitzi is a nocturnal predator that spends the day in caves and crevices in rocks and is active at night when it swims out of hiding in search of food. It usually hunts in large groups away from the reef. Single fish or mated pairs will defend their territory by swimming aggressively toward the invading fish and increasing the frequency of their light organs flashing. The fish's light organs also allow it to evade predators. To do this, it applies a strategy of "blink and swim", slowly swimming in one direction with the light turned on, then blink them and chaotically rushes in the other direction.

Keep fish is recommended in pairs in an aquarium of 300 liters. The substrate is stony. At the sides of the aquarium should be placed rock with caves in which fish could freely swim.  

Water parameters: temperature 22-28° C, hardness dH 8-12°, pH 8,1-8,4, salinity 1.020-1.025.

Photoblepharon steinitzi

The lighting should be low to be able to observe the flashes of light produced by the fish.

The fish menu in the aquarium consists of shrimp meat and sea fish. Food is given in the evening, before turning off the lights in the aquarium.


Under aquarium conditions Photoblepharon steinitzi do not breed. All fish that occasionally appear in the trade are imported from their natural habitat.

In nature, a pair of producers spawn at the water surface. One female hatches up to 1,000 eggs. The eggs go through a short planktonic phase before they attach to any surface. Within a day, the eggs turn milky white and sink to the bottom. 

Photoblepharon steinitzi

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