The Alfonsino is basically a member of the Berycidae family of fishes. Temperate and tropical ocean waters throughout the world, excluding the eastern Pacific are home to the Alfonsinos. These fishes are also known to inhabit the New Zealand waters to a great extent.
There are three species of Alfonsinos namely Beryx decadactylus, Beryx mollis and Beryx splendens (Splendid Alfonsinos). It is the Splendid Alfonsinos variety that is commercially harvested in a larger scale throughout the world.
This fish is also associated with other popular names like Red Beam and Tasmanian Snapper.
Features: The Alfonsino fish is distinguished by its big, prominent eyes and profoundly compressed body.
Fins: This fish has a small, short dorsal fin. The anal fin, however has longer base and is located exactly below the middle of the previous dorsal fin. Its caudal fin is bifurcated and somewhat resembles the upper structure of a fork.
It has been observed that the female fish is comparatively bigger than the male.
Size: This fish is approximately 60 centimeters long.
Color: Alfonsinos are a rich rose red in color, complimenting a bright orange lower half. The fins and inner portions of the mouth are generally bright red. As a matter of fact red is one such color that gets easily filtered from the light spectrum. This attribute acts as excellent adaptation of the fish especially in deep water environments.
Picture 1 – Alfonsino Source – mar-eco.no
Habitat and Distribution
The Alfonsinos inhabit temperate as well as tropical ocean waters, across the world apart from the eastern Pacific Ocean. In the Australian continent, this fish can be traced off Northern South Wales up to south-eastern Tasmania.
This deep water fish are usually found at depths ranging from 33 to 4300 feet (or 10 -1300 meters).
The diet of the Alfonsino fish comprises of anthropods, various smaller fishes and marine mollusks like cephalopods.
Their predators are bigger fishes like sharks. These fishes are also consumed by humans.
The Alfonsino fish has fairly good nutrition content with sufficient vitamins and minerals. As such it is consumed by people across the world. Let us take a closer look at the nutritional value of this fish as per 100 g.
These fishes reproduce by spawning. They become sexually mature after three to four years. The eggs of the Alfonsinos float over the water surface and are ready to hatch after a period of 1to 8 days.
Juvenile Alfonsinos tend to venture more in open waters before exploring the deep waters. These young fishes can be recognized by their little spiny heads and the second dorsal that is slightly stretched.
These fishes are known to have a minimum lifespan of 49 years.
The female are slightly larger in size compared to the male.
The Alfonsino is a deep water fish found in ocean depths of 33 to 4300 feet.
The Splendid Alfonsino is by far the largest species amidst the other species of Alfonsino fishes.
Scientific research has traced the origin of this fish back to the Cretaceous period that is more than 145 million years ago!
These fishes are known to reproduce through the process of spawning.
These fishes prefer to stay close to the deep ocean beds during the daytime; however they travel to mid-water level by night.
Take a look at some of the spectacular pictures of the Alfonsino fish!