Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) operon copy number and gene order were determined for the luminous bacterial symbiont of Kryptophanaron alfredi, an anomalopid (flashlight) fish, and estimated for the luminous symbionts of 3 other fish families and of 3 luminous seawater isolates. Compared with the seawater isolates and other fish symbionts, the copy number of rRNA genes in the K. alfredi symbiont was radically reduced, although gene order appeared conserved among all the strains. The K. alfredi symbiont possesses only a single rRNA operon, whereas the other strains examined have minimum copy numbers ranging from 8 to 11. No difference in copy number was observed between light organ and seawater isolates of the same species, or between isolates of the same species from the light organs of 2 different host families. Thus, the anomalopid symbiosis appears unique among characterized light organ symbioses.