Mesopelagic fish of the Southern Ocean - summary results of recent Soviet studies
Since 1963, Soviet research on Antarctic mesopelagic fish has been carried out as a part of the general multi-disciplinary program of research on Antarctic biological resources. Studies concentrate primarily on the following four most abundant species: Electrona carlsbergi, Electrona antarctica, Krefftichthys (Protomyctophum) anderssoni and Gymnoscopelus nicholsi. The data obtained so far are sufficient to allow a description of the general ecology and distribution of these species. Some data are available on their feeding, reproduction and age/length composition. The paper summarizes recently published results of these studies. A general description of mesopelagic myctophids is followed by more detailed information on individual species. Some details of the biological characteristics of these species are summarized in tables with details on area, season and source of data. Some data, e.g. length composition of samples, are also illustrated in figures. The importance of studies on the role of myctophids in the Antarctic ecosystem is highlighted.