Lampris guttatus

The God salmon ( Lampris ( Gr. " lampros " = bright ) ), and sunfish (not to be confused with the unrelated family Molidae ) or Opah called, are a two- species genus pelagic living marine fishes from the order of gloss Fishy ( Lampriformes ). Lampris is the only extant genus of Lampridae family.


God salmon are one of up to 1.80 meters long. Your body is oval deep-bodied, laterally strongly flattened and covered with very small cycloid scales. Dorsal and anal fins are long, crescent-shaped, highly flexible pectoral fins are the main driving element. They are fan-shaped and set in a horizontal hinge at. They are of two strong, antagonistic red muscles moves that focus on broad coracoid. The shoulder girdle is extremely greatly expanded and reached one-third of the body volume. The volume is other fish only at 1/ 30 to 1/ 140. The front portion of the side line runs in a high arch over the pectoral fin. The muzzle is strong vorstülpbar ( protaktil ). God salmon have 43 to 46 vertebrae. They are colored shiny gold or purple, the back is blue or blue-green, the fins are red.

Dorsal fin formula 48-56; Anal 33-41, Ventral 15-17.

Way of life

God salmon live as a loner in the open water and feed on squid, pelagic crustaceans, pteropods and small fish. It is believed that Lampris is well camouflaged by its color, may arrange to be informed rub into fish or other animal swarms and sucks by a sudden advance of the highly developed oral apparatus prey.

Types and distribution

  • God salmon ( Lampris guttatus ) ( Brünnich, 1788), lives in the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, temperate regions of the Indian Ocean and the eastern Pacific from Alaska to Southern California. In the summer, occasionally in the North Sea. 1.20 to 1.80 m long. Fins formula: Dorsal 48-55, 33-41 anal fin.
  • Southern God salmon ( Lampris immaculatus ) Gilchrist, 1904, lives in the seas of the Southern Hemisphere, in temperate and cold regions between 34 ° south latitude and the southern polar sea. 1.10 m long. Fins formula: Dorsal 55-56, 36-40 anal fin.

Besides the two extant species also a great fossil God salmon from the Late Oligocene of New Zealand has been described. Megalampris keyesi is classified in a separate genus and was four meters in about twice as long as Lampris guttatus.


God salmon are not targeted by fisheries, but are estimated as by-catch, as their fat, red meat is very tasty.