Fun Flashlight Fish Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Jan 11, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Flashlight fish facts tell us about the bioluminescent fish.

Encountered tons of fish and probably even fireflies? What if we told you it's possible to see both simultaneously?

Yes, it is! Meet the firefly among the large fish population, the flashlight fish. A very self-explanatory name, the flashlight fishes are one of the most astounding creatures of the sea, merely looking at them makes you marvel at nature's creativity and aesthetic sense.

These fishes are found in the Pacific regions worldwide; these sea creatures emit bioluminescent light from their bodies, especially when they find their food; the light flashes at a quicker rate. If you are wondering if these are like any other ordinary pet fishes, then no, they are quite rare to find as pets.

However, if you do see them in any of the aquariums, you would witness a beautiful phenomenon of magic and science marvel.

Don't stop here! Continue scrolling down to read more about this unique sea animal. For more such interesting content, check out neon goby facts and anglerfish facts!

Flashlight Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a flashlight fish?

Flashlight fishes are a type of nocturnal fish.

What class of animal does a flashlight fish belong to?

This fish belongs to the class of Actinopterygii.

How many flashlight fish are there in the world?

Sorry readers, but this number is currently not known, but they are found widely in the region of the Indo-Pacific ocean.

Where does a flashlight fish live?

This fish species, often related to slimeheads, squirrelfishes are found to live on rocky outcrops and coral reefs of the Pacific ocean and Eastern Indian ocean.

What is a flashlight fish's habitat?

The habitat of Splitfin flashlight fish, a type of flashlight fish, ranges across different marine destinations like the Indian ocean and Red sea. In addition, it has been collected from islands around the world, including Comoros, Reunion, and Maldives.

Who does the flashlight fish live with?

Flashlight fishes are known to live in schools of up to 50 that hunt Plankton at night near coral reef roots. This fish Photoblepharon lives in schools and together hide in dark overhangs or caves during the day to avoid sunlight.

How long does a flashlight fish live?

Although the exact lifespan of the flashlight fish anomalops is not known, common tropical fish are known to have an average life of three to five years.

How do they reproduce?

Very little is known about flashlight fish's reproduction. However, it is believed that they are broadcast spawners.

What is their conservation status?

This fish species is not evaluated yet by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and therefore classified as of Least Concern.

Flashlight Fish Fun Facts

What do flashlight fish look like?

Indo-Pacific ocean


We've been unable to source an image of a Flashlight Fish and have used an image of its habitat. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Flashlight Fish, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

This fish has a dark-colored, mostly black body with blue edging on the fins. Conspicuous bean-shaped light organs below each eye can be found inhabited by bacteria that power it up with the bioluminescent light. The light emitted by them could be white, yellow, or blue.

How cute are they?

The Anomalops katoptron is like any other fish you could find worldwide, but what makes them stand out is their bioluminescent organs located under their eyes. These bean-shaped organs make it look like fish is glowing, making them look fascinating rather than being cute, in our opinion.

How do they communicate?

These species belonging to the family Anomalopidae are known to blink their light to communicate with each other as well as divert their predators. Even while swimming, they blink the light to swim in one direction and turn it off to swim in another direction.

How big is a flashlight fish?

These fish Photoblepharon animals can have variable lengths. Some could be as long as 10 in (25.4 cm) while some tinier fish could be even less than 5 in (12.7 cm).

How fast can a flashlight fish swim?

Sadly not much is known about the speed of these bioluminescent species, but as a matter of fact, this fish swims up to a depth of 437.4 yds (400 m), where they rest inside the underwater caves, unlike other deep-sea fishes like giant oarfish, Pacific salmon, black dragonfish and batfish.

How much does a flashlight fish weigh?

The weight of these fishes is not known to date.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of these bioluminescent marine animals are not known by any specific names .

What would you call a baby flashlight fish?

Baby flashlight fish species have no unique names.

What do they eat?

These luminescent marine species prey on zooplankton and small fish as their food. In fact, were you aware that a special light-producing organ under their eyes is used to actually attract their food? How cool is that, right? Their light organs give flashing signals to forage their food for the night.

Are they poisonous?

The fact about the poisonous nature of order Beryciformes fish that's often spotted near the sear reef is unknown.

Would they make a good pet?

Absolutely! the Anomalops katoptron, although rarely available in a pet store, would be a great addition to your family. You could order them online as well.

Key pointers for you to keep your pet fish happy; first, have the tank's temperature kept between 72 -74 °F (22.2 -23.3 0C). Higher temperature affects the nocturnal fish's light organs and their light-producing abilities. Secondly, have the tank size to be 20 gallons as the bigger the tank, the happier the flashlight fish.

Did you know...

Here are some cool facts about flashlight fish we bet you didn't know! Firstly did you know that these fish blink 90 times every minute on an average during the night!

The flashlight fish houses bacteria in its light organs, providing a housing facility for the bacteria is what the flashlight fish provides the light-emitting organism. In contrast, the bacteria help the fish glow. Thus, a symbiotic relationship between the two can be seen.

During the day, these animals rest in the reef aquariums inside a dimly lit cave, keeping their light organs closed for most of the part.

Where are flashlight fish born?

Although their exact location of being born is not known, these coral reef-loving fishes belong to the order Beryciformes and fish family Anomalopidae. There are quite a few other nocturnal species under this family, such as Photoblepharon palpebratum, Splitfin flashlight fish, and pinecone fish which actually belong to the same order.

The flashlight fish's light

Having a fish glow sounds quite magical, right? But readers, this isn't just magic; there's also a bit of science that goes behind the glowing of the fish's light.

The reason for their glowing body is that their light organs actually contain millions of symbiotic bacteria that produce bright green light. This light is turned off and on by rotating the bacteria inward and outward.

In fact, due to the bioluminescent bacteria, these night fishes also glow while they are feeding. Thus, they constantly glow without any blinks while feeding on their food.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our fangtooth moray eel facts and warty frogfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Flashlight fish coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a lantern bass fish, one of the species similar to flashlight fish. If you have an image of a flashlight fish, please let us know at

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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