Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Lophiodes caulinaris, Pacific anglerfish, Spotted-tail angler, Spotted-tail goosefish, White-spotted goosefish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

lure - 2 dark, stalked eyes
D spines II-III not black
C: 1 row of 6 white spots
pectoral black+ white margin



Lophiodes caulinaris (Garman, 1899)


Spotted-tail goosefish,   Pacific anglerfish,  White-spotted goosefish,  Spotted-tail angler

Head and front of body flattened, broad, body narrowing behind, head with bony prickles; ridge from top of eye to snout smooth; mouth large, with large sharp teeth; eyes on top of head; head and body with scattered skin flaps; dorsal spines and rays I + I + I + III / 8, 1st  spine with fishing pole with  complex  "lure" (bearing pennant-like flap, long cirri, and, usually, dark, stalked, eye-like appendages; anal rays 6; pectoral fins limb-like, 18-19 (16-21); gill opening large, behind and extending in front of pectoral base.

Mottled brown; outer half of pectoral fins blackish with white spots, and narrow white margin; 2nd  and 3rd  dorsal spines not black; caudal fin dusky dark brown to blackish with vertical row of ~6 white spots across middle of fin; lining of gut cavity pale.

Size: reaches about 40 cm.

Habitat: sandy and muddy bottoms.

Depth range 15-380 m; frequently captured by trawlers.

Southern California to the Gulf of California to Peru, and Cocos and Malpelo.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Bony fishes
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 15
Depth Range Max
  • 380