Fishy Smaller Fish

We reported on claims to have found the world’s smallest fish that appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. The aquatic critter measured just 7.9 mm apparently and was found in a peat swamp in Southeast Asia. However, it seems the authors of the paper failed to note that a much, much smaller sexually mature angler fish was reported in the autumn of 2005 at just 6.2 mm to 7.4 mm in length.

So, what’s a few millimetres between friends? The female of the species in question, Photocorynus spiniceps presumably sees the significance, she comes in at a wopping 46 mm (some 7 seven times longer than her mate).

The smaller fish was reported in the journal Ichthyological Research and according to the study, the male is essentially a sexual parasite. He fuses for life to the back of his mate by biting on and turns the female into a hermaphrodite, providing her body with everything she needs to reproduce, she provides the food and navigational skills.

Again, size is everything for this arduous task, male spiniceps have testes so unfeasibly large that they almost fill his entire body cavity, even to the point of crowding out his other internal organs. Still, what fish is going to care about his internal organs when he’s perpetually mating and getting fed in the process?

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