Time and Tide Bell ~ #200Fish

A Continuing Arts Programme facing Lincolnshire's Coast

#200Fish is a community project to create works of art based on each of the species of fish found in the North Sea

To learn more and find out how to join the project click here.

Fish #62 Silver Hatchetfish Argyropelecus olfersii ~ Ellie Denwood

Oil on paper, 19 x 13 cm

Silver Hatchetfish

Scientific facts: the Silver Hatchetfish can grow to a maximum length of 9cm. They have large pupils, allowing them to see dim objects underwater where the light barely penetrates. This is useful, as they tend to live in deep water between 100m and 800m below the surface. The Argyropelecus olfersii is also bioluminescent, meaning that it can make it's own light to use as a 'biological torch', as camouflage or as a means of communication. They are mainly found in the Eastern Atlantic, from Southern Iceland to the Canary Islands, as well as in some areas of the South Pacific. They feed on crustaceans and other small fish. Their conservation status has 'not been evaluated', but it seems that there are plenty around!

Why I chose it: I'm sorry to say that I originally chose the Silver hatchetfish because I thought it was a pretty, colourful flying fish. I later realised that there are two types of Silver hatchetfish - the tiny, pretty one which is native to Brazil, and the 'Argyropelecus olfersii' which looks rather different and is found in the Atlantic. It is generally thought to be quite an unattractive specimen, and I couldn't find many people who had written about it or celebrated it before. I'm happy to say that I grew quite fond of this hardy fish while I was painting it, and now have quite an appreciation for it's large eyes and grumpy expression.

Biography: I'm an illustrator based in South East London.

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