The Pacific black dragon is a deep-sea predator that lives in the deep waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean from about 700 to 3300 feet (200-1000 m) deep. Though they spend most of their time in these deep waters, Pacific black dragons are known to migrate toward the surface, at night following their preferred prey of small crustaceans and other fishes.
As they are ambush predators, their bodies are dark black, and even their stomachs are coated with black tissue to block out any light that might be produced by bioluminescent (light-producing) animals that they eat. Along with their dark bodies, Pacific black dragons have several rows of specialized light cells, called photophores that are probably used to attract mates.
They have a separate light organ at the end of the long barbel that hangs down from the chin. This organ is used as a lure to attract prey toward their teeth-filled mouths. Adults reach approximately two feet (60 cm) in length and are skinny and eel-like, though these fish are not closely related to true eels. Even though it lives in deep waters, the preferred depths of the Pacific black dragon receive some sunlight during the day, so the eyes are large and well developed.
Pacific black dragons are not eaten by people, and there is no evidence to suggest that people have any negative effects on their populations. They are likely naturally rare, however, and any changes to the deep-sea environment could threaten this interesting species.