The animal on the cover of Programming ASP.NET MVC 4 is the silver scabbardfish (Lepidopus caudatus). Fish of this family are long, slender, and generally steely blue or silver in color, giving rise to their name. They have reduced or absent pelvic and caudal fins, giving them an eel-like appearance, and large fang-like teeth. They grow to over 2 meters in length and reach 9 kg in weight. Their scaleless bodies are compressed and ribbon-like, and leave a silvery tint on anything with which they come into contact. They have long sharp teeth along both jaws, and the lower jaw is very prominent. The female lives longer than the male and is also bigger.
The silver scabbardfish forms schools and is a mesopelagic predator that primarily feeds on crustaceans (especially krill and decapods), small mollusks, and ray-finned fish such as lanternfish, boarfish, and herring. Its major predators are sharks, hake, and squid.
This species is found as far down as 1,000 meters in both cold and warm waters around the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific. They are so widespread in the Straits of Messina that they have given rise to a profession: the spadularu, or silver scabbardfish fisherman. Their tastiness has earned them the name of “young lady of the seas” in the Messina dialect. They are readily consumed (despite their ugly appearance) because of their soft, delicately flavored white meat and lack of scales.
The cover image is from Johnson’s Natural History. The cover font is Adobe ITC ...