Pyramodon ventralis

Pyramodon ventralis is a pearlfish of the family Carapidae, found in the Indo-western Pacific oceans at depths of between 328.08 and 1312.34 ft (100 and 400 m). Its length is between 9.84 and 11.81 in (25 and 30 cm).

Pyramodon ventralis is similar in shape to the rattails with a long tapering eel-like body ending in a pointed tail. Both the dorsal and anal fins start about a quarter of the body length from the snout and end at the fused pointed tail fin. The pectoral fins are large and paddle-shaped, but the pelvic fins are reduced to a singe short filament.

Pyramodon ventralis is scaleless and, very unusually, has three lateral lines, as well as a scattering of other sensory pores on the body. The eyes are large and set well forward. The wide mouth contains large canine teeth along the front of each jaw, and a large single vomerine fang.

Illustration by Dr Tony Ayling