Black Dragon fish – it glows! It’s invisible! It has razor sharp teeth


The black dragonfish can be very hard to find because they can make themselves invisible anytime. How can  they make themselves invisible? Well, you can’t see it but there is a red dot behind its eye. They can be really camouflaged. You can hear them but you will have to guess where the dragon fish is. The dragon fish has razor sharp teeth, which is one of its creature powers. The sharp teeth helps the dragonfish grab and kills its prey. The dragon fish has a special lure that glows like the frog fish, that helps catch and confuse its prey because many shrimp are chasing for bio-luminescence (producing their own light).  When the shrimp comes close to the bio-luminescence, the dragon fish catches it.

Written by JY, age 7, Toronto

black dragonfish finger

Scientific name: Idiacanthus atlanticus
Where do they live?: deep in the ocean  – 1500 to 4000 meters
What do they eat? shrimp, tiny plankton and other tiny creatures
How big are they? 5 to 15 cm
How long do they live? mystery
What is its creature power? sharp teeth, they can be  invisible and they glow!

Scaleless black dragonfish (Melanostomias biseriatus) showing lure, Atlantic ocean

Scaleless black dragonfish (Melanostomias biseriatus) showing lure, Atlantic ocean


Dragonfish lives in very deep in the ocean with very little light.


Fun Facts:

  • Male dragonfish is smaller than the female. They are only 1/10 the size!
  • Young dragon fish are transparent with eyes on stalks on top of its head
  • Its teeth stick out of its mouth. Does yours?
  • Dragon fish have chlorophyll (gives a green color to plants)  in its eyes so it can see better in the dark. Night vision!
  • Dragon fish can produce its own red light (bio-luminescence)

Watch a video about the Black Dragon fish

Activities and Crafts:

Print out the image below. Identify: (1) razor sharp teeth (2) lure (3) fins (4) bio-luminescence? Put a red dot on it.

black dragonfish image

Credit: PF-(usna1)/Alamy

Learn more about the Black dragon fish:

Live Science: Red-Seeing Fish, Blue-Seeing Fish: Deep-Sea Vision Evolves
World Wildlife fund: Black dragon fish
Australian Museum: Black dragon fish
Rolling Harbour: Alien from the deep: abaco scaleless black dragonfish

Books and Stories to read:


  1. Rolling Harbour August 25, 2016
    • admin August 26, 2016

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