General body shape similar to the gonostomatids; serial photophores having a lumen and a duct; gill rakers well developed in young and adults; usually two supramaxillaries; adipose fin present except in Yarrella; 10-16 dorsal fin rays; 12-33 anal fin rays; 11-22 branchiostegal rays, 4-7 on epihyal; barbel on lower jaw absent. This taxon is probably paraphyletic. Reasons for now accepting Phosichthyidae as the spelling of the family name are given in Nelson et al. (2004:211).
Seven genera, Ichthyococcus, Phosichthys (synonym Photichthys), Pollichthys, Polymetme, Vinciguerria, Woodsia, and Yarrella, with about 20 species (e.g., Parin and Borodulina, 1990; Harold, 2003).
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